ANTH 4110/5110 Human Evolutionary Biology (The Fossil Record)

Spring 2009


Meeting Place: Hale 230
Meeting Time: TR 12:30 pm
Professor: Matt Sponheimer
Office: Hale 347
Office Hours: T 1:45-4:45 pm
Phone: 303-735-2065
Main Website:
Website Mirror:
TA: Hillary Glasgow (


Study Guide Here!

Paleoanthropology is a topic of tremendous public interest, as is evidenced by the constant stream of new television shows and books on the subject; however, while many people have been exposed to the broad strokes of human evolution, very few are well acquainted with the primary data of the discipline: the human fossil record. This course is designed to address this gap by providing you with a detailed look at the fossils, sites, and techniques that inform us about the deep human past. The emphasis will be on the hard evidence for human evolution rather than theoretical considerations. All told, this class will focus on how we know what we think we know about human evolution.

There is no required textbook for this class as the most relevant textbooks on the market are either too basic or too advanced. Thus, class lectures cover everything that you need to know for the exams. That said, many people perform much better when they have a text to refer to, so a few book suggestions are found on the website. I will also post readings on the class website from time to time.

There will be two mid-term exams and a comprehensive final exam, all of which will be in multiple-choice format. I will drop the lowest of your two mid-term exam scores, thus your final grade will be calculated as follows: one mid-term (50%) and the final exam (50.0%). There will be no makeup exams. If you miss a test, the next will be given double weight. None of the exams will be graded on a curve.

If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please bring me a letter from Disability Services so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services (303-492-8671, Willard 322, determines accommodations based on documented disabilities.

First Mid-Term Exam on February 26th
Second Mid-Term Exam on April 14th
Final Exam on Tuesday, May 5th, 4:30 pm