Summer 2023 - ARCH 131 OL01

Human Origins (3)

Class Number: 4081

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



A non-technical survey of the primate background of humans, fossil primates, and fossil humans, and the associated evidence of cultural development. An introduction to physical anthropology. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.


This course will provide a non-technical introduction to human evolution and biological anthropology. In this course, students will learn about the principles of evolutionary theory and human genetics, primate biology and behaviour, the pre-hominin and hominin fossil record, the material culture of early hominins, the emergence and migration of modern humans, and modern human variability.

By the end of this course, students will

  • Have a basic understanding of evolutionary processes and genetics and how they relate to human evolution.
  • Know the characteristics that define that various major group of primates.
  • Know the major fossil hominin species and their physical characteristics and material culture.
  • Understand the various forms of evidence researchers have used to identify the “cradle” of modern humans and our dispersal across the globe.
  • Understand that the concept of race is a cultural construct and not rooted in biology.


  • Meme Creation Assignments(3) 15%
  • Midterm Exam 40%
  • Final Exam 45%



Stanford, Craig, John S. Allen, and Susan C. Anton. 2017. Exploring Biology Anthropology: The Essentials. 4th edition. Pearson, Boston.  ISBN: 9780134014142
ISBN: 9780134014142


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.