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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.
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.
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.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology
American Anthropological Association, 2023 (https://pressbooks.calstate.edu/explorationsbioanth2).
Tori M Saneda and Michelle Field;
Biological Anthropology: A Brief Introduction
Pressbooks, 2022 (https://openwa.pressbooks.pub/anth205bioanth).
Other reading materials uploaded to Learn by instructors (in the section Required Readings).
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.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 20 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences