Human evolution in the discipline of archaeology involves an examination of behavioural data derived from the study of ancient hominid fossils and associated material culture. The fossils of human ancestors dating back to 7 million years ago (e.g. Sahelanthropus tchadensis) and environmental data relating to their habitats and living conditions provide information about behavioural variability among our ancestors in Africa. The emergence of material culture (stone tools and other artefacts) by 3.3 million years ago in eastern Africa allows the application of standard archaeological methods involving analyses of material items related to past behaviours.
After 2 million years ago, human evolution research includes the examination of the migration of our ancestors out of Africa (initially Homo erectus) and the settlement of other geographical regions worldwide, including the arrival of Homo sapiens in Australia by at least 60,000 years ago.
Human evolution is a dynamic interdisciplinary area requiring expertise in physical anthropology, vertebrate anatomy, bio-archaeology, biology, genetics, environmental science, chronometric dating, and archaeological field and lab methods.
Dedicated topics related to the study of Human Evolution at Flinders include:
ARCH1002: From the Palaeolithic to Pompeii: An Exploration of World Archaeology
ARCH1005: Cultural Anthropology
ARCH2213: Human Evolution and the Fossil Record
ARCH3109: Environmental Archaeology
ARCH3214: Forensic Anthropology of the Human Skeleton
ARCH8408: Human Osteology
For more information about studying human evolution at Flinders please contact Professor Donald Pate.