|Human origins and evolution
Semester 1: Overview of human evolution (Simon Buteux)
Thursday 5th October
Introduction. Why human evolution is important. The place of man in nature. Timescales. Climatic change. The disciplines contributing to the study of human evolution (biology, genetics, palaeoanthropology, archaeology, geology, scientific dating, etc).
Thursday 12th October
Basic principles of natural selection. The development of the ‘third chimpanzee’ and the earliest hominids. Bipedalism.
Thursday 19th October
The Age of Australopithecus.
Thursday 26th October
The first humans (the genus Homo). Brain expansion. Tool making. Why did humans emerge?
Thursday 2nd November
‘Out of Africa I’: Homo erectus and Old World colonisation. Archaic humans (Homo heidelbergensis and others). Lower Palaeolithic tools and technology.
Week of Thursday 9th November
Project week. There will be no formal class this week. Students are expected to use this time to work on the class essay/project that they have been set. The deadline for submission of this piece of work is 2.00 p.m., Friday 10th October.
Thursday 16th November
Reconstructing hominid behaviour: the archaeological evidence.
Week of Thursday 23rd November
During this week, seminars will be held to give students the opportunity to discuss their class work.
Thursday 30th November
Neanderthals and the problem of language. Middle Palaeolithic tools and technology.
Thursday 7th December
‘Out of Africa II?’: the origins of Homo sapiens.
Thursday 14th December
The ‘Upper Palaeolithic Revolution’: the archaeology of Homo sapiens.
: summary of the whole course and issues covered.