Human Origins and Prehistory - GEOS2021

Faculty: Faculty of Science

School: School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Course Outline:

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

Available for General Education: Yes (more info)

View course information for previous years.


Human origins is an exciting and dynamic branch of science as each year new discoveries are made that rewrite knowledge of our ancient past. This course will provide an introduction to the fields of archaeology and prehistory, exploring the evidence for our cultural and biological origins. It will also provide a critical exploration of the basic methods and theories employed in archaeology and prehistory research. Students will engage with evidence from the cultural, fossil and genetic records and explore wide-ranging topics drawn from contemporary archaeological research. The course covers topics like why humans are apes, the features that define us as unique, evidence for when, where and how we evolved, stone tools and the Palaeolithic record of human culture and ecology, the Ice Age and its role in human evolution, the diversity of pre-humans and our extinct human cousins, human interbreeding with species like the Neanderthals, Out-of-Africa and the origins of modern human populations, the shift from hunting and gathering to farming, and the beginnings of urbanised settlements and civilisation.

Note: this course was previously offered as BIOS3711 but changed effective Semester 1 2017 to GEOS2021

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