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    Vassar College
  Dec 11, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ANTH 305 - Topics in Advanced Biological Anthropology

Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
1 unit(s)

An examination of such topics as primate structure and behavior, the Plio-Pleistocene hominids, the final evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens, forensic anthropology, and human biological diversity.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2017/18a:  Human Evolutionary Developmental Biology.  What literally makes us human? This class examines how growth and development were modified over the course of human evolution, to create the animals that we are today. Human anatomy is placed in an evolutionary context by comparison with living primates and the human fossil record. The first half of the course focuses on theory, namely evolution, genetics and life history. The second half examines evidence for the development and evolution of specific parts of the body, from head to toe. Through lab activities and a term project, students draw on different types of data to test hypotheses about evolution and development. Zachary Cofran.

Topic for 2017/18b:  Forensic Anthropology. Forensic anthropology is the application of physical anthropology to medical or legal issues, such as crimes. This course introduces students to the basic methods of forensic anthropology, including how age, sex, race, and height of an individual can be determined from their bones. Recognition of skeletal anomalies can also reveal past health conditions and the cause and manner of death. Students gain experience in applying these methods by working with real and synthetic human bones. Special attention is given to the accuracy of each method and how to develop a biological profile that would stand up in a court of law. April Beisaw.

One 3-hour period.

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