Anthropology | Archaeology of Human Origins
P600 | 27783 | Sept


Pre-requisite:  ANTH B200, P200, P314, or equivalent recommended

After an initial review of the history of investigations of the
archaeological record of human origins, and the current “state of the
art,” the seminar will discuss a series of “hot topics” in Early Stone
Age archaeology, evaluating hypotheses in the context of current
knowledge from different sites.

Research questions will include:

What do we know about the technological behaviors of early hominins
during the Plio-Pleistocene?
•	Who were the tool-makers?
•	What can the earliest tools reveal about the evolution of hominin
dexterity and cognition?

What can the early archaeological record contribute to our knowledge
of early hominin diet and subsistence strategies?
•	Which habitats were preferred?
•	How important was meat-eating as a strategy for survival, and how
was it acquired?
•	Did hominins control the use of fire for cooking or other adaptive use?

What can we infer about early hominin social organization or land-use
from the early archaeological record?
•	What have archaeologists learned since Isaac’s “Food-sharing /
Home-base” hypothesis was first proposed?

Course grades will be based on a combination of: weekly student
presentations and short written evaluations of reading assignments for
group discussion; an original  term paper on a topic agreed upon with
Professor Sept.