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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Introduction to Human Origins

In recent years archaeologists have made considerable strides in helping us to understand the evolution of our species.

Human skull
Human skull

This module introduces you to the Archaeology of human origins, from the first appearances of our hominid ancestors to the cave paintings from the height of the last ice age. You will examine the social and physical evolution of the human species within the broader context of global and regional changes in climates, landscapes and technologies. The theories used by archaeologists to explain human evolution will help you understand this process.

You will also consider the origins of material culture and learn how the main classes of archaeological evidence, namely stone tools and animals' bones, found on early hominid sites are analysed and interpreted.

This module will further explore such themes as the migration of early hominids out of Africa, the development of intelligence, the evolution of technology and the development and language and forms of artistic expression.

Course date/time:

Tuesdays 7:00pm - 9:00pm, starting 2nd October 2012


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