Anthropology 24, Section 2
Becoming Human: Tracing the Archaeology and Evolution of Human Origins (1 unit, P/NP)
Professor Lisa Maher
Wednesday 10:00-11:00, 2224 Piedmont, #15, Class number: 46664
How did we become human? This course traces the history of the human lineage, with a particular focus on why and how we successfully covered the globe. We will begin with the emergence of the first bipedal hominids, look at the earliest evidences for tool use, discuss theories about what happened to our closest fossil relatives, the Neanderthals, and the appearance of modern human behavior, and explore how Homo sapiens came to dominate the globe. Bringing together evidence from the fossil record, recent genetic advances, and archaeological data, we will discuss the physical and cultural characteristics that make us human and major theories for how those characteristics evolved. We will do this by comparing and contrasting the most recent prehistoric discoveries on the science of human origins in the media and other venues.
Freshman students; no background in science, evolution, or archaeology necessary.
Lisa Maher is a prehistoric archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology who has been working in the Near East, North Africa and Arabia for more than seventeen years. She is involved in research all over the globe and directs several excavation projects in Jordan, most recently at a 20,000-year-old hunter-gatherer aggregation site that is the largest Palaeolithic site in region and with the country's earliest hut structures and human burials. Specializing in geoarchaeology, ancient stone tool technologies, and cultural heritage conservation, she is interested in the intersections between past landscapes and people, from our earliest human ancestors to the present.
Faculty web site: http://anthropology.berkeley.edu/people/lisa-maher