The Human Journey
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- 31 Jul 2023
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Examine how new discoveries have changed our understanding of human evolution through time by outlining the history of archaeological and fossil discoveries.
Be able to interpret differing views on the origins of humans.
Identify the primary scientific methods that influence our understanding of key events in human evolution with a focus upon archaeological and fossil case studies.
Define what it means to be human through an understanding the behavioural and cognitive evolution of our ancestors.
Examine the sensitivities surrounding discussions of our human origins and the importance of understanding our shared ancestry in the modern world.
- • Palaeoanthropology.
- • Human Evolution.
- • Palaeolithic Archaeology.
- • Human Origins.
- • Archaeological Science.
- • Evolutionary Biology.
- • History of Science.
Past La Trobe University students who have previously completed HUS1THJ (The Human Journey) are ineligible to enrol in this subject
No additional requirements
‘The Human Journey; archaeology and evolution' looks at the origins and evolutionary paths of humans, from our earliest potential ancestors 7 million years ago, to the first occurrence of own species around 300,000 years ago. To do this we examine the fossil, archaeological and behavioural records of our ancestors as well as looking at the climatic and environmental backdrop to our evolution. The subject is built around case studies of pivotal archaeological and fossil sites, including the active research of the teaching staff - who have discovered key early human fossils in Africa. Taking a global outlook, from our earliest origins in Africa, the dispersal of the first human species out of Africa and into Asia and Europe, to the origin and relationship of our own species to our close cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans.
Taught by La Trobe researchers working at key paleoanthropological and archaeological sites such as Drimolen and Amanzi Springs in South Africa, the subject presents upon their active fieldwork and research within a historical context to understand our evolution, and to explore how views of our human ancestry have changed through time - highlighting the shared ancestry of all humans alive today and the epic journey that our ancestors took to becoming us.
- Online weekly quizzes and a final quiz covering the full 12 weeks (equivalent to 750 words). (20%)
- Students will be required to do a podcast, video or similar assessment looking at the history of a site or fossil important to human evolution (750 words equivalent). (20%)
- Written archaeological site report (1500 words) (40%)
- Practical in class activities equivalent to 750 words (20%)
Current study term: 30 Jul 23 to 27 Oct 23
Textbook information is pending.