- Code BIAN3113
- 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 important fossils relevant to the study of human evolution;
- Understand the principles of biological evolution;
- Understand what is meant by the concept 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.
Indicative AssessmentEssay proposal, 500 words (10%) [Learning Outcome 2-5]
Major essay, 2500 words (50%) [Learning Outcome 2-5]
Take-home test, 48 hours (25%) [Learning Outcomes 1-3]
Tutorial presentation, 15 min; students will present alone, or in groups, depending on number of student enrollments (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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