- Code BIAN6013
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject Biological Anthropology
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Human Sciences, Evolution and Ecology, Biology
This course will provide an introduction to the fossil evidence for human evolution in the context of living great apes and modern humans. The course will proceed chronologically from our earliest human ancestors, who originated around 7 million years ago, up until modern humans who inhabit the world today. We will ask the questions of why our ancestors became bipedal, what they ate, how they grew up, and when they left Africa. We will cover topics such as how can we reconstruct behaviour using skeletal evidence and will critically examine how the evolutionary relationships among our extinct hominin relatives can be inferred from the fossil evidence.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify and understand the key morphological features of important fossils relevant to the study of human evolution;
- Understand the principles of biological evolution and adaptation and how these are relevant in the context of human evolution;
- Understand what is meant by the concepts of species, and how these may be recognised in the fossil record;
- Compare different fossils with one another, and draw phylogenetic inferences;
- Understand the principles of geological dating and environmental reconstruction and why these are important for interpreting the context of hominin fossil assemblages.
Indicative AssessmentAnnotated bibliography relevant to proposed essay, 1500 words (10%) [Learning Outcome 2-5]
Major essay, 3500 words (50%) [Learning Outcome 2-5]
Take-home test, 48 hours (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1-3]
Tutorial presentation, 30 min (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4, 5]
Tutorial participation (5%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 4]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures and 18 hours of tutorials, labs and online activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsConroy, G. C., & Pontzer, H. (2012). Reconstructing Human Origins: A Modern Synthesis. 3rd Edition. WW Norton.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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