• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Human Sciences, Evolution and Ecology, Biology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Katharine Balolia
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

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.

Learning Outcomes

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:
  1. Identify and understand the key morphological features of important fossils relevant to the study of human evolution;
  2. Understand the principles of biological evolution and adaptation and how these are relevant in the context of human evolution;
  3. Understand what is meant by the concepts of species, and how these may be recognised in the fossil record;
  4. Compare different fossils with one another, and draw phylogenetic inferences;
  5. Understand the principles of geological dating and environmental reconstruction and why these are important for interpreting the context of hominin fossil assemblages.

Indicative Assessment

Annotated 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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Workload

130 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

Incompatible with PREH2011 or BIAN3113.

Prescribed Texts

Conroy, G. C., & Pontzer, H. (2012). Reconstructing Human Origins: A Modern Synthesis. 3rd Edition. WW Norton.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2003 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 31 Mar 2020 29 May 2020 In Person N/A

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