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ANTH106 Human Origins and Civilisations

A review of archaeological evidence for the origins and cultural development of the human species from its earliest appearance up to and including the rise of early civilisations.

This paper explores fundamental questions about human biological origins and the evolution of human culture and society. What, where and how did our species emerge? What happened during the Stone Age; what was the Neolithic Revolution? How and why did complex societies or civilisations develop globally? The paper pursues answers to these questions and many more, drawing on the archaeological record of our human past, beginning with our African origins millions of years ago. We investigate the development of agriculture, the emergence of new technologies and sedentary settlements, and the beginnings of the world's earliest civilisations.

Paper title Human Origins and Civilisations
Paper code ANTH106
Subject Anthropology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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ANTH 104, ARCH 101
Schedule C
Arts and Music
This paper is available to all students.

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Anne Ford

Contributing Lecturer: Professor Glenn Summerhayes

Teaching Arrangements
Lectures and tutorials

Scarre, C., The Human Past. Fourth edition. London : Thames & Hudson 2018

Course outline
The course outline is available at the first lecture and on Blackboard.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students completing this paper will have gained a sound knowledge of the fundamental biological, social and technological changes that occurred over the last few million years that resulted in the emergence of modern human populations and societies. They will appreciate the richness and complexity of human history, the principles of scientific inquiry into the human past, and fundamentals of evaluating and presenting alternative theories and ideas.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 29-34, 36-41
A2 Monday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41
A3 Monday 15:00-15:50 29-34, 36-41
A4 Monday 16:00-16:50 29-34, 36-41
A5 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 29-34, 36-41
A6 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 29-34, 36-41
A7 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 29-34, 36-41