This course’s main objective is to provide students with a solid understanding of the importance of Africa for the evolution of human cultural behavior. Africa provides the world’s longest archaeological record, and as such the longest record of human bio-cultural evolution. It furnishes evidence for the earliest representatives of the human family, the first artifacts, the most complete account of the development of a hunting/gathering way of life, and a living laboratory for the archaeological study of contemporary societies (i.e. ethnoarchaeology). This course takes a different approach to African prehistory focused on thematic areas rather than chronological developments. Topics of discussion include archaeological approaches to mobility, technology, exchange/interaction, climate reconstructions, cognition, diet, and contemporary heritage issues on the continent. The class is taught in a symposium format with specific importance placed on class discussions and debates.