3.987 Human Origins and Evolution

Spring 2006

The Venus of Willendorf.
The Venus of Willendorf, carved between 24,000 and 22,000 BC. (Photograph courtesy of Mary Harrsch.)

Course Highlights

This course features lecture notes.

Course Description

This course examines the dynamic interrelations among physical and behavioral traits of humans, environment, and culture to provide an integrated framework for studying human biological evolution and modern diversity. Topics include issues in morphological evolution and adaptation; fossil and cultural evidence for human evolution from earliest times through the Pleistocene; evolution of tool use and social behavior; modern human variation and concepts of race. The class also studies stone artifacts and fossil specimens.
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Dr. Harry Merrick

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session