ARCY2001 The Archaeology of Human Origins and Symbolic Thought

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
This unit shows how we originated and became 'human'. We identify and analyse the biological and cultural factors in the archaeological and palaeoanthropological record from 14 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago, when all continents (apart from Antarctica) were settled by people. The unit examines the global archaeological evidence of the interrelationships between cultural and biological processes that produce the different cultures we have today. This is an exciting topic and unit content is regularly updated as new archaeological discoveries are made. Students also reflect on where evolution will take us in the future and on how we might help ensure a just and cultured world.
Students are able to (1) gain general knowledge of and understand the arguments about what constitutes 'modern human behaviour'; (2) have detailed knowledge of the major theoretical themes discussed in the unit and how the archaeological evidence has been identified and interpreted; (3) know how and why archaeological interpretations of hominin behaviour have changed over time; (4) understand arguments about why human behaviour in the past varies in different places and at different times; (5) understand, evaluate and compare archaeological theories in their historical context; (6) understand and evaluate how evidence is used in archaeological research; (7) demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues relevant to archaeological practice; (8) demonstrate a comprehension of the relationship between archaeological research questions and the principles, methods and broader setting of archaeological research; and (9) comprehend archaeological literature, specialised terminology and data, and communicate this in an appropriate manner.
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) essay; (2) quizzes; and (3) tutorial assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Martin Porr
Unit rules
12 points of Level 1 study in Archaeology, Anatomy, Anthropology
Classics and Ancient History
ARCY1101 Digging up the Past
Contact hours
lectures: 1 x 45 minutes; tutorials: 1 x 45 minutes per week
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