Palaeolithic Archaeology of Homo Sapiens 100,000-12,000 BP (ARC3131)

15 credits

Our species Homo sapiens has lived on planet earth for at least 200,000 years, with >95% of this existence dominated by hunter-gatherer lifeways often in global climatic contexts very different from the Holocene interglacial climate of today. Studying the human experience of these Palaeolithic periods before the advent of farming is therefore critical to understanding the human condition.

This module will focus on the Palaeolithic archaeology of Homo sapiens after 100,000 BP, with particular attention given to the Upper Palaeolithic of Eurasia. Students will engage with a series of key topics including use of fire through the latitudes, burials and status, Palaeolithic dwellings, intra-site spatial analysis, and what we know from ancient DNA studies that are continuing to revolutionise our understanding of this period. The module will be taught assuming no prior knowledge of Palaeolithic archaeology, however it has also been designed to complement module 2127 taught in 2016-17, and will focus on different geographic regions, time periods and core themes.