This course is an introduction to the science of biological anthropology. Biological anthropology is a subfield of anthropology that focuses on humanity and its origin from a biological perspective. Biological anthropology recognizes the complex interactions of biology and culture in the evolutionary development of the human species. In this class we study the basic concepts and mechanisms of evolution and the evolutionary history of humankind from primate beginnings to anatomically and behaviorally modern Homo sapiens.
The course is divided into 3 sections: 1) the science of anthropology and the models and mechanisms of human evolution; 2) modern human variation and adaptation, and our relationships to non-human primates; and 3) the origin, development, and dispersal of humans using evidence from the fossil record (paleoanthropology) and archaeological remains. Along the way, it illustrates the ways in which anthropologists learn about the past and how we can use this knowledge to understand the present.
On this site you’ll find links to the virtual labs for this semester, as well as other digital materials. For starters, check out the syllabus and course schedule below!