This module introduces students to the evolution of hominins in changing global environments, from primate origins to the beginning of settled societies. Lectures and practicals introduce the timeframes of changing environments in which people evolved, patterns of evolution, the appearance of our own species, dispersal throughout the world and the ancient beginnings of human impact on the planet. Knowledge gained in the lecture course will be assessed by multiple choice tests and two written assessments. The practical programme will introduce skills in bibliographic and literature search, graphical display, and the analysis of research data relating to the investigation of early humans. Skills relating to the analysis and documentation of artefacts and stratigraphy and sedimentology will be introduced.
After completing this course, you will gain an understanding of the environmental and chronological context of human evolution, and of ancient human impact on the environment, and you will be able to describe that impact. You will also be able to select and present key evidence for human evolution and place it in its wider context.
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Gill Plunkett
Other Contributor: Dr Melie Le Roy
(Image: Benderg Bay, County Down, Northern Ireland – R. Rabett)