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Last updated:

December 9, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


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.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction Unlimited
  • Modern Primates and their Relevance to Understanding Human Origins Unlimited
  • Tertiary Higher Primates: Our Pre-Hominid Predecessors Unlimited
  • Earliest Hominids: The Australopithecines and Affines Unlimited
  • Early Hominids – Variations and Taxonomy – Presentations Unlimited
  • Early Homo: How Should Homo Be Defined? Unlimited
  • The Archaeology of the Early Hominids I: Olduvai Gorge and Koobi Fora Unlimited
  • Homo ergaster and erectus: Emerging Modern Morphology Unlimited
  • Homo heidelbergensis and neanderthalensis or Early “Archaic” H. sapiens? Unlimited
  • “Archaics”: Not Quite Us Physically, Not Quite Us Mentally Unlimited
  • Origin of Modern Homo sapiens Unlimited
  • Modern Homo sapiens I Unlimited
  • Modern Homo sapiens II Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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