PREHISTORIC DIET AND NUTRITION

COURSE OBJECTIVES & ORGANIZATION

"YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT..." we are often told.

Yet human diets today are vastly different from those of our ancestors of just a few thousand years ago. Are people adapted to their modern diets? Is there a "natural" diet for humans? This course will explore how the long-term history of human diet has influenced our genetic, physiological, cultural and social development. It will focus on how we must integrate data from both human evolutionary biology (e.g. fossil anatomy, bone chemistry) and prehistoric culture (e.g.technology, food remains) to arrive at an understanding of our dietary heritage.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

READINGS: Copies of the required readings from books and journals (50-100 pp per week) and several reference books will be placed on reserve in the UGL Library. You can purchase The Origins of Agriculture: an international perspective C. W. Cowan and P.J. Watson, (editors).

WRITTEN WORK: You will have no exams! But each section of the course will include: one practical project, asking you to apply your knowledge of the course material to a particular issue or exercise; a series of take-home essays and assignments that will require you to discuss and integrate material covered in the lectures and readings, and/or do independent research; an electronic class conference in which you can participate for credit, using the "First Class" software, accessible from anywhere on the IU computer network, using MAC or PC.

As outlined on the next page, some of these assignments will be required for all students; you will not pass the class unless you complete them. But beyond this minimal set, students will have the option to choose among the other assignments to complete their coursework. [Note that Graduate Students will be required to do a 20 p research paper].

GRADING Your grade will be based on the total grade points which you accumulate during the semester. Each written project and assignment will be worth an amount of credit which will be multiplied by the grade you get to calculate your grade points. For example: Essay Question 1 has a credit of 10. If you get an "A" on this question, you will get a score of (10 x 4.0) = 40 grade points. If you get a "B-" on this question, your grade point score would be (10 x 2.7) = 27.

Course grades will be based on the following grade point totals:

400 pts =A; 370 pts= A-; 330 pts=B+; 300 pts=B; 270 pts =B-; 230 pts=C+; 200 pts=C; 170 pts=C-; 130 pts =D+; 100 pts=D; 70 pt=D-; <69 pts=F

Note that you cannot pass the class unless you complete all required assignments, no matter how well you do on the assignments you turn in. Credit will be reduced for late assignments.

Credit Options

Electronic Class Participation: Each week lecture notes and questions will be posted in the "First Class" computer conference for class comment. If you participate usefully in this electronic discussion, each week you can earn 1 gradepoint (gpt). If your contribution is judged to be particularly informed or substantive, you can earn 2 gpts x 15 weeks = a total of 30 gradepoints during the semester (e.g. the difference between a "B" and a "B+" !). Required assignments are marked with a ** below.

Assignments for Part I: Human Diet as Adaptation

Assignments for Part II: Proto-Human Subsistence

Assignments for Part III: From Foraging to Farming


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