ANTH105-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Human Evolution

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


This course is an introduction to the biological, behavioural, and cultural evolution of hominids from the earliest evidence to the emergence of the Neolithic revolution. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of evolutionary theory, paleoanthropology, archaeology and physical anthropology. Up-to-date knowledge about how we have become what we are today, and how such knowledge has been produced in academic research will be presented. By examining the human past, students will develop an understanding human universals and sociocultural variation, which enables us to develop a deeper bicultural understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand today.

Where have we come from? How have we become what we are today? Throughout history, these questions have been asked by people of many different cultures, which provide different answers about the beginning of the world and human beings. Such curiosity about our own origin has continued to modern days. The advance of modern science and technology has enabled scientists to provide better and better answers to these questions. Since the 19th century, many ancient fossil remains have been discovered and examined by paleoanthropologists. Our close relatives, modern primates, have also become subjects of research by biological anthropologists. In the past twenty years, breakthroughs in genetic studies have opened new windows into the human past. As a result of the hard work of scholars in these fields, much progress has been made in understanding our remote past and the trajectories through which we have become what we are today. In this course, you are going to be introduced to the up-to-date knowledge about how we have become what we are today, both biologically and culturally, as well as how such knowledge has been generated in academic research.

Learning Outcomes

After taking this course, students will be able to:
a. Understand the basic principles and practices in palaeoanthropology, physical anthropology and archaeology.
b. Be familiar with the up-to-date knowledge of human evolution.
c. Understand the assumptions, evidence, methods, arguments and theories involved in-research on human evolution.
d. Develop cultural and bi-cultural competency based on understandings of the human past.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Engaged with the community

Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 16:00 - 18:00 A3 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 15:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 460
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
02 Monday 09:00 - 10:00 Karl Popper 612
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
03 Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00 Psychology - Sociology 210
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
04 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 A7
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
05 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 Ernest Rutherford 141
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Contact Person

Zhifang Song


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Mid-term test 25% This test will be administered during the first lecture in week 7.
Tutorial participation and note taking 10% a. Tutorial quiz (5%) b. Attendance and Participation in group discussions (5%)
Lecture Quiz 5%
Essay 25% Students are to choose one out of four topics and develop an essay of around 1500 words based on the reading materials and lectures.
Final Examination 35%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Shoot Shook; Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology ; 2nd; American Anthropological Association, 2023 (

Tori M Saneda and Michelle Field; Biological Anthropology: A Brief Introduction ; Pressbooks, 2022 (

Other reading materials uploaded to Learn by instructors (in the section Required Readings).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 20 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences .

All ANTH105 Occurrences

  • ANTH105-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024
  • ANTH105-24S2 (D) Semester Two 2024 (Distance)