Course Description, Credit and Costs
The course has three major components:
Classroom lectures, labs and discussions will comprise three weeks of the course and will involve students in interactions with French and American archaeologists and physical anthropologists as they examine and discuss the fossil and other evidence documenting modern human origins.
One week of the course will have us travel to the Dordogne Department where some of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world have been discovered. We will visit painted caves and sites where Neandertals and Cro-Magnons lived, cooked their meals and buried their dead.
The last two weeks of the course will involve the excavation of a Middle
Paleolithic site in the small village of Marillac-le-Franc, Charente Department of the southwest of
The evidence documenting the latter phases of human evolution and the
various theories that have been proposed to account for the origins of modern
humankind will be explored by the program's participants (all lectures are in
English). Lectures will be augmented with the examination of artifacts and
fossils crucial to the understanding of human origins. Prehistorians will
demonstrate the making of the stone tools that were made and used by the
Neandertals and the early modern humans who came after them. Visits to important archaeological sites and
paleolithic painted caves in the
The overall focus of the course is the investigation of the evolutionary origins of modern humans, their unique cultural abilities, and their relationships to more archaic beings like the neandertals. Emphasis will be directed at issues such as what makes us human and how did this quality evolve. What is the place of language and artistic expression in this development? The goal of the course is to provide students with greater insight into our common evolutionary heritage as well as those 'human' traits that make us unique beings. An equally important aspect of the course is student exposure to French culture and society in a way that is distinctly non-touristy.
ANT 315 satisfies the science and technology with laboratory (STL) distribution area requirement.
Student Costs and Expenses
Student weekend excursions
depends on destination
depends on student interests and travel
R/T airfare to
depends on origin
* This amount covers tuition and all room and board expenses during the course,
including field trip expenses (hotels, meals and transport) as well as all
expenses at the excavation site at Marillac. Students are responsible for their
own transport from
For information on financial aid, please visit the Office of International Programs website.