ANTH1-Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Spring 2002

California State University, Sacramento

 MWF 9-9:50 AM                         MND 1005  

______________________________________________________________________________ Instructor: Dr. Gerrell Miles Drawhorn 

Office: MND 4019 

Phone: 278-4555 [or message 278-6452 or] 

Office Hours: Monday 10-11; Tu 1:30-2:30 in Room 4019 MND or by appt.
Course Objectives Assignments Grades
Reading Materials Resources Schedule

Catalog Course Description

The place of humans in nature: geological environments; the nature of life; human evolution, reproduction, and genetics; humans as Primates; the human fossil record; the classification and distribution of races. 3 units. (CAN ANTH 2)

Course Description 

WELCOME TO ANTHRO 1! This syllabus contains important information about the course (e.g. course requirements, exam dates, etc.) so refer to it regularly throughout the semester. 

This course is an introduction to the science of physical anthropology (or, as many are now calling it human biology or evolutionary anthropology). As the concept of evolutionary change is central to biology, this course will focus upon the evidence regarding human evolution and the place of humans in nature. Topics discussed will include the nature of life; human reproduction and genetics; humans as primates; human evolution and the fossil record; the environmental context as inferred from the geological record; and the origin and meaning of human geographic variation 

Credit: 3 Units - fulfills Area B2 (Biological Science) General Education Requirements. 

Course Objectives

The course will present a synthesis of information from current research of the human fossil record; behavioral, genetic, and anatomical studies of the Primates (humans and our closest relatives- apes, monkeys and prosimians) to assist us in reconstructing the evolutionary history of humankind. It is a science class with an emphasis is on human biology. If you are a non-science major expect to have to work harder in this class than the courses in your own major. 

Topics covered fall into three areas of concentration:
 1) Human Variation- the Scientific Method and the history of the history of scientific thought regarding human origins; elementary principles and mechanisms of heredity and genetic change; basic cytogenetics, molecular genetics and population genetics; and the processes of speciation, and evolution in modern populations with an emphasis on human geographic variability, adaptation and plasticity. and ethical issues in physical anthropology. 
2) Primatology - the comparative anatomy and relationships of humans and non-human Primates; the social organization and behavior of living Primates;

3) Paleoanthropology- the Primate and human fossil record; geological dating methods and environmental reconstruction; the realtionship between culture and evolution in the human lineage.

Attendance: Unless you have ESP, attendance in the lectures is highly recommended. Material on the exams, and questions on the reading assignments are based on attendance at lectures and reading assignments. What is emphasized in lecture is frequently emphasized on exams. Because of the rapidly changing nature and pace of discoveries in the field, some information may only be presented in lecture. Additionally, keeping a notebook allows the student to learn even more successfully. 


An open mind and willingness to explore competing scientific theories. For those who have concerns with evolutionary theory, I suggest a review of the "Talk Origins" web site . The instructor is also willing to discuss specific issues related to the topic of creationism (which is not a scientific theory) outside class. 


The following assignments are due on the dates indicated. 
Assignment Points Date Due


10  @ 5%


= 50% 

  • Wednesday 2/27 (4 Article Reviews on Human Genetics)
  • Friday 3/29 (3 Article Reviews on Primate Behavior)
  • Friday 5/17 (3 Article Reviews on Human Evolution) 
MIDTERMS 15 % each

= 30 %


  • Human Genetics (Wednesday 2/27)
  • Primate Taxonomy/ Behavior (Friday 3/29)
FINAL 20 %
  • Fossil Record @ 80% of content;
  • 20% comprehensive
  • Friday 5/24: 8-10 AM
  • Extra Credit (Max 8%) Fri 5/17



    There will be three exams. Exams will consist of objective questions (multiple-choice, fill-in, true/false, short answer). A Scantron  882ES form is required. Material from both lectures, in-class videos and textbook reading assignments up to the day of the quiz will be presented. Examples of previous exams will be on reserve in the library. 
    The two midterms will deal with a) Human Genetics (Wednesday 2/27) and b) Primate Taxonomy/Behavior (Friday 3/29) , respectively. Each midterm is worth 15% of the final grade. The final exam (Friday 2/24 at 8-10 AM) on Human Evolution will be comprehensive, but will have a very strong emphasis on the material covered in the last 7 weeks of the course. The final is worth 20% of the final grade 
                                                                               Exams = 50% 

Important! Make-Up Exams will only be allowed if the student can provide documented evidence of an emergency (e.g. illness or accident). The exam must be taken within three days of the scheduled exam or return to class from illness at the Testing Center at 202 Lassen Hall. Appointments for Make-up exams must be made immediately after the absence with Dr. Drawhorn. Make up exams will contain different questions than the exam given in class. 

Article Reviews

Students will be required to answer questions from ten of the 36 assigned readings in Physical Anthropology: Annual Editions.  Assignments must be typed (12 point font), double-spaced with 1" margins. The name of the author and title of the article must be included, and all assigned questions must be answered. Responses should be in complete sentences and rewritten in your own words. I do not grade papers filled with quotes from the original author very favorably. Plagiarism ("unattributed quotations") will result in an F for the assignment. Both the original article and other student papers will be compared to detect plagiarised material. Papers should be 1-2 pages long for each assigned article. Two reviews from the assigned readings up to the first midterm will be due on the day of Midterm 1. Two reviews from articles assigned for the second midterm will be due on the day of Midterm 2. Two reviews covering the remaining assigned articles will be due the last day of class. Reviews are due in class. Each article review is worth 5% of the final grade.   10 x 5% =50% 

Four article reviews from readings in Units 1 and 6 will be due at the first quiz.
Article #1 ("The Growth of Evolutionary Science" - Futuyma)
Article #3 ("Curse and Blessing of the Ghetto" - Diamond)
Article #38 ("Racial Odyssey" - Rensberger)
Article #39 ("The Tall and Short of It" - Bogin)

Three article reviews from readings in Units 2-3 will be due at the second quiz.
Article #5 ("Machiavellian Monkeys"- Shreeve)
Article #6 ("What Are Friends For?" - Smuts)
Article #10 ("Dim Forest, Bright Chimps" -Boesch)

Three article reviews from readings in Units 4-5 will be due on the final day of class.
Article #23 ("Early Hominid Fossils"- Leakey and Walker)
Article #26 ("Scavenger Hunt" - Shipman)
Article #34 ("Who were the Neanderthals" -Wong)

All assignments are due in-class on the assigned due date. Late assignments will be assessed a penalty of 10% of the points available from that assignment/day late.

Extra Credit - All extra credit is due by the last day of regular class (Friday May 17th) in class.

  • Video Extra Credit Reviews
Extra credit may be obtained by  viewing and answering a set of questions on  selected videos available in the Library Media Center (LIB 1520). Up to 2% Extra Credt may be obtained for each video. Questions should be answered in the same format as responses to the Articles (typed, 12 point font, 1" margins). The three videos are:
"The Blind Watchmaker" 
"Life In the Trees"
"In Search of Human Origins: Surviving In Africa" . .
           3 x 2% =  6% Extra Credit
  • Internet Extra Credit Assignment
Visit the two websites associated with the publishers of your textbooks. See page 18 of Jurmain for the Wadsworth Anthropology Resource Center, and pp. 4 of the Annual Editions for the Dushkin Online site. In addition visit three of the WWW web sites listed on pp. 4-5 of Annual Editions. 

1) For each site document the site address, and the name of the site and who sponsors it.
2)  Describe in one paragraph what the site provides topically and in terms of materials and format (technical or oriented to the general public, color photos, maps, links, when it was last updated, etc.).
3) Provide a printout of each of the first pages of the sites visited.

Report on these in the same format as your article reviews (typed, 12 point, 1" margins, double-spaced). You may earn a maximum of 5% extra credit for this project.
          5 x 1%    = 5% Extra Credit :

Other extra credit possibilities (e.g. attending and reviewing a lecture) will be assigned throughout the semester. No More than a total 8% of a students Final Grade can be composed of extra credit material. 

Late Work: Assignments are due in-class ! Not one hour after class ! Please remember to schedule time to complete your paper assignments before the due date. Assume that the school computers will be down the day you need to complete the assignment! Late assignments will be subject to a 10% penalty (out of the possible points) for being late on the day of class. For each additional day late an additional 10% penalty shall be applied. Late assignments should be turned into the Anthropology Office (Rm 4010) by 5 P.M or placed in the "drop-box" outside the office.] 


A Outstanding 90+ points
B Excellent  80-89 points
C Average 70-79 points
D Passed,  60-70 points
F Failure  < 60 points

Reading Materials


1) Introduction to Physical Anthropology by R. Jurmain, H. Nelson, L. Kilgore and W. Treviathan. (1999: 8th edition) 

2) Physical Anthropology Annual Editions 2001-2002 by E. Angeloni (Dushkin/McGraw Hill 10th edition)

Reading assignments from required texts are noted on the weekly Course Schedule. Assignments should be read prior to the lecture on the day the assignment is listed. Readings in Jurmain are noted on the syllabus by a "J" followed by the page numbers (e.g. “J 1-23). Readings in the Annual Editions Reader are noted by Chapter # (e.g. “AE 1-4 )are Chapters 1-4 in the reader. Students are assigned approximately half the articles found in the Annual Editions. 

Students will be expected to be reasonably familiar with the subject matter, personalities and discoveries mentioned in the text during class. Good preparation reduces the amount of basic information (e.g. “How do you spell ‘Darwin’?” ) needed to be covered in class, and allows the class to move on to more interesting topics. Follow up the lecture with review of your notes and readings to clear up any questions. 

Recommended: Study Guide for Introduction to Physical Anthropology 
Virtual Laboratories for Physical Anthropology by John Kappelman. (This interactive CD-ROM is particularly useful supplement to the Jurmain et al text. Applicable labs are refered to by a CD icon in the margin of the textbook. Those taking the Anthropology 1a, with a preference for visual media, or those planning on becoming Anthropology majors may find it particularly helpful. A copy of the Kappleman CD-ROM has been placed on reserve in the Multi-Media Room of the Library.

You can purchase books through the Hornet Bookstore

Course Schedule

Week 1 Introduction; Overview of Course; What is Physical Anthropology and why is it worth knowing about? Scientific Method. Evolutionary Theories. The Darwinian Revolution and Natural Selection; (J 1-42; AE Chapter 1, 2, 43) 

Week 2 Mendel and the Principles of Inheritance "The Blind Clockmaker" (J 73-89) 

Week 3 The Sources, Organization and Inheritance of Genetic Variation (J43-72; AE Chapter 41-42) 

Week 4 Human Genetic Variation (J 90-104; AE 3-4)

Week 5 The Bio-Cultural Adaptation of H. sapiens (J387-467; AE 37-39) 

Wednesday 2/27- Quiz #1 Article Assignments Due- Lecture: Classification (J 105-119) 

Week 6 Primate Origins: Prosimians ("Pre-Monkeys") and Anthropoids (J 119-122; 197-212; AE 14) Video "Life In The Trees" 

Week 7 Primate Origins: Anthropoids (J122-144; 213-224; AE 5,6,17,18) 

Week 8 Primate Behavior: Territory and Ecology (J145-156; AE 10,12) Video "Monkey Island" 

SPRING BREAK (3/25-3/29) /Cesar Chavez Day (4/1) 

Week 9 Primate Behavior: Sex and Status; Video: "Mask of the Mandrill” (J 157-170; AE 15, 16, 21, 22) 

Week 10 The Apes and Models for Ancestral Human Behavior; Video "The New Chimpanzee" (J 171-196; 455-463; AE 9, 11)

Friday 4/12- Quiz #2; Article Assignments Due 

Week 11 Paleoanthropological Methods; Earliest Hominids and A. afarensis(J225-274; AE 23,24) 

Week 12 Piltdown Man vs. South Africa Ape-Men (J276-284) 

Week 13 Early Homo: H. habilis and H.erectus (J 272-275 and 285-324; AE 25-29) 

Week 14 The Archaics: Neanderthals and their contemporaries (J325-358; AE 32-34) 

Week 15 "Out-Of-Africa #2"-The Emergence of Modern Homo sapiens (J 359-386; AE 30-31) 

Friday  5/17 Article Reviews Due; Extra-Credit Due

Final Exam Friday 5/24; 8 - 10 AM


A human skeleton and a copy of the Kappelman CD ROM is available for in-library use in the multi-media room of the CSUS library. Examples of oler exams and reserved copies of the text are located in the reserve room of the library. The physical anthropology lab (MND 4011) has a number of resources, including learning software and fossil casts that will be available during office hours. The computer lab in MND 2008 has osteological learning software developed by Dr. Heidecker of our own Department. Use the "Y" drive,click on "toolbook", then "anthsolo" then "anth2.tbk" The Physical Anthropology website ( has a number of resources that students in this course will find invaluable (e.g. images of the fossil hominid material used in this very class!!). Check out the useful links and those noted in your textbook. 
Page updated: September  20, 2001