ANTHRARC 385 - The Archaeology of Early Humans
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Anthropology, Archaeological (ANTHRARC)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course explores humanity’s most ancient roots. From the very earliest toolmakers to people physically and behaviorally identical to ourselves, the emergence of human culture is charted using archaeological evidence. After a firm theoretical, chronological and climatic introduction, we begin in Africa some 3 million years ago when powerful evolutionary forces promoted new ways of living, thinking and interacting. We then track the dynamic biological and behavioral changes that culminated in the emergence of our own species, Homo sapiens, and trace our unprecedented spread to every habitable corner of the Earth. We finish with the major transformations of economy and society that came with the advent of plant and animal domestication around 12,000 years ago. Along the way, we will encounter key milestones in human history, including technological innovations in stone, bone, wood and clay; the harnessing of fire and invention of cooking; the emergence of big game hunting, fishing, trapping and snaring; the colonization of dangerous environments like deserts and the high arctic; the earliest seafaring; the development of strategies for coping with climate change; and the origins of symbolism, religion, music and art. We will also review evidence for ancient interactions between our species and our more archaic contemporaries, the Neanderthals, Hobbits and Denisovans. With this course, students will gain a solid understanding of the major players and events of deep human history, situated within a robust framework of evolutionary theory. Students will also have opportunities to handle real archaeological artifacts from the periods being discussed.

ANTHRARC 385 - The Archaeology of Early Humans
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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