Integrative Paleoanthropology II
This course provides a detailed overview of the later stages of human evolution from the late Pliocene to the latest Pleistocene,focusing on the fossil and archaeological records. It emphasizes the anatomical, phylogenetic, behavioral and cultural aspects of Plio-Pleistocene hominins in Africa, their dispersal into the rest of the Old World, and the origins of modern humans and their contemporaries worldwide. Special topics include: The ecological, behavioral, and morphological factors behind the origin and initial dispersal of Homo from Africa, a critical review of the taxonomic and biogeographic arguments regarding Homo erectus and its contemporaries, the reconstruction of life history patterns in genus Homo, the nature of the relationship between Neandertals, Denisovans and latest H. erectus and the origin of modern humans. Students will supplement their reading of the primary literature with the study of comparative skeletal materials and casts of early hominins in lab sessions. Open to advanced undergraduate majors with instructor approval.