Honors | Human Origins & Prehistory (ANTH)
A105 | 5128 | Frederika Kaestle
LEC MW 12:20-1:10pm
DIS W 2:30-3:20pm
For how long have people been scrambling about on this planet? How
do we know anything about ancient humans or human ancestors? What is
evolution anyway and how does it work? Anthropology A105 answers
these and other pesky questions about the world and the history of
the human species.
Anthropology is simply the study of people. This course introduces
two facets of anthropology: the study of human origins and ancient
cultures. We use the term paleoanthropology to refer to this field.
You will see how anthropologists look at human evolution, how fossil
hunters find evidence of it and how archaeologists research ancient
human societies. We’ll explore how they interpret the remains of
stuff, how they figure how old the stuff is, and how they apply
their interpretations to situations in the modern world. This course
will provide information about fundamental methods and techniques
used in biological anthropology and archaeology.
Course format includes Illustrated lectures, discussions,
demonstrations, videos, and labs. Class consists of 2 lectures per
week, plus a lab/discussion section, devoted primarily to hands-on
exercises, during which you will get to handle casts of old
bones, look at stone tools, and explore some of the regions and
topics with which I and other faculty are most familiar, including
stone tool production and function, animals in the archaeological
record, genetic evidence for the peopling of the world, and other
stimulating topics. Course readings will be drawn from a textbook
as well as short supplementary readings that will be available for
download from Oncourse. There will be three exams (60% of course
grade), five short exercises (20% of course grade), and two group
projects (20% of course grade).