P314 Earlier Prehistory of Africa Syllabus

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This class will require you to do a lot of reading, writing, and thinking, using both traditional scholarly resources (such as the library), and newer computer tools (such as CD-ROM and WWW). My goal is to engage you in active investigation and interpretation of the early archaeological record of Africa. To do so you will need to learn basic terminology and key concepts, but, more importantly, you will be learning how to build effective written arguments using your own interpretations of different types of archaeological evidence and scientific reasoning.


GRADES will be based on:

25% weekly on-line quizzes Go To Quiz Site

15% in-class activities

60% 4 written projects, 15% each

READINGS for this course are extensive, and are an important part of the course material. If you have not previously taken a course in human evolution or archaeology, you may initially have difficulty following some of the material in this course. Consult the instructor if you are worried about the level of your background preparation.

Go to detailed reading schedule

We will have readings from three sources:

Professor Sept will also post class-notes and other useful links on the class web-page as the class proceeds.


WEEK 1 Introduction to the study of Africa's past: history & geography

WEEK 2 Introduction to the Early Stone Age: the South African story

WEEK 3 Introduction to the Early Stone Age: the East African story
Sept 12: meet in Library-503 computer lab - bring Olduvai CD-ROM

WEEK 4 Who made the first stone tools, and why?
Sept 19: meet in LI-503

WEEK 5 Comparing the behaviors of early hominids and chimpanzees
Sept 26: meet in LI-503

WEEK 6 Early Hominid societies and land-use

WEEK 7 Homo erectus & Acheulian technology
Oct 10: meet in LI-503

WEEK 8 The "Muddle in the Middle": the Acheulian continued

WEEK 9 Late Acheulian sites and transitions to MSA

WEEK 10 Did modern humans originate in Africa? archaic Homo sapiens
Oct 31: meet in LI-503

WEEK 11 Middle Stone Age

WEEK 12 Independent team-work on MSA case studies (no class meetings)

WEEK 13 Nov 21 Independent work on MSA case studies (no class meetings)

Thanksgiving Break!

WEEK 14 Later Stone Age

WEEK 15 LSA rockart and perspectives on the past

 Professor Jeanne Sept
 (812) 855-5395 ; email: SEPT  
 Office Hours Student Bldg 038

TH 1:00-3:00, or by appt.

   Lectures: Student Bldg 150

TuTh 11:15-12:30

Home Page | Syllabus | Readings | Lecture Notes | Quiz Site | Assignments 

Human Origins in Africa | African Resources | Archaeology Links |
Sept teaching interests | IU Anthropology
Sept research | Sept Home Page

Last updated: 29 August, 2000
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/teach/p314/xxx.html
Comments: sept@indiana.edu
Copyright Jeanne Sept 1998 : do not cite without permission

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