Dec 08, 2022
ANT 202 - Human Origins Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 3
Lab Hours: 0
Practicum Hours: 0
Work Experience: 0
Course Type: Core
This course provides an introduction to biological anthropology and archaeology. Human origins are examined through the study of the biological and cultural evolution of humans. Topics such as skeletal biology, human variation, genetics, primatology, paleoanthropology and archaeological research methods will be included.
- Demonstrate an understanding of what is included in biological anthropology and archaeology.
- Define biological anthropology and its subdisciplines.
- Define archaeology and its subdisciplines.
- Understand how biological anthropology and archaeology fit into the 4-field approach to anthropology.
- Apply the process of science, the scientific method, and its application to biological anthropology and archaeology.
- Utilize scientific terminology.
- Explain the process of the scientific method.
- Distinguish between hypotheses and theories in science.
- Summarize biological evolution.
- Gain an understanding of the history of the development of the theory of natural selection.
- Describe the evidence for evolution, including evidence from direct observations, homology, the fossil record, biogeography and molecular biology.
- Give an example of a phylogenetic tree and a cladogram.
- Understand the mechanisms for evolutionary change, including natural selection, mutation, genetic drift and gene flow.
- Outline the importance of culture to the biological evolution of humans.
- Define culture.
- Describe the concept of biocultural evolution.
- Characterize the fundamentals of genetics
- Describe the structure and function of DNA
- Define chromosomes, genes, and alleles.
- Identify the principles of inheritance.
- Define dominance, recessive, phenotype and genotype.
- Utilize a punnet square and pedigrees to predict inheritance.
- Summarize human skeletal biology.
- Identify the major bones of the axial and appendicular skeleton.
- Recognize areas of similarity and difference between the human and nonhuman primate skeletons.
- Understand modern human biological variation.
- Compare the historical views of human variation to the view from the modern evolutionary-based approach.
- Explain how biologists and anthropologists view the concept of race as it pertains to humans.
- Describe well-documented genetic polymorphisms of humans.
- Provide examples and environmental causes of modern human adaptations.
- Characterize the primates.
- Describe the suite of traits that distinguish primates.
- Understand the classification and placement of humans within the primate order.
- Distinguish primates from other mammals.
- Chart the evolution of the primates, including hypotheses for the origin of primate traits.
- Outline the fundamentals of primate ecology, behavior and cognition.
- Identify the species that encompass the strepsirhines and haplorhines groups.
- Describe the traits that define lemurs, lorises, monkeys, and apes.
- Examine threats to wild primates and primate conservation.
- Evaluate archaeological and paleoanthropological techniques.
- Describe how material culture is studied at archaeological sites.
- Define and provide examples of artifacts, features, ecofacts, and context.
- Analyze the goals and methods of ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology.
- Describe the process of fossilization.
- Summarize absolute and relative dating techniques.
- Outline the geologic time scale.
- Interpret discoveries in paleoanthropology to describe the biological evolution of humans.
- Define a hominin.
- Describe anatomical requirements of bipedalism.
- Summarize the documented hominin genera and key species, including morphology, distribution, and inferred behavior and adaptive patterns.
- Compare the archaeological discoveries and cultural remains of various hominin species.
- Distinguish between the Lower, Middle and Upper Paleolithic.
- Describe molecular techniques used to analyze extinct hominins.
- Paraphrase the evolution of language and culture in the context of hominin evolution.
- Discuss models to explain the evolution of modern Homo sapiens.
- Discuss the dispersal of humans throughout the Old World and into the New World.
- Describe hypothesis and the archaeological and biological evidence to explain the initial human populating of the Americans.
- Identify key Paleo-Indian sites.
- Identify key Mesolithic and Epipaleolithic sites in the Old World.
- Give examples of hunting and gathering lifeways during the early and middle Holocene.
- Diagram the dispersal of Homo sapiens throughout the world.
- Explain the archaeological evidence for the origins of agriculture and domestication.
- Compare the development of farming throughout the world.
- Identify the biocultural consequences of the development of agriculture.
- Describe the archaeological evidence of the earliest civilizations.
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