Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Biological Anthropology - 2nd semester



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas





Teacher in charge

Tânia Minhós Condeço Rodrigues

Weekly hours


Teaching language



Physical anthropology will be presented as an interdisciplinary science focussed on the study of human evolution. It is intended to familiarize the students with the contributions of different research areas: Palaeontology, Archaeology, Human Ecology, Human Genetics, Primatology.



Subject matter

1. Presentation. What is the biological anthropology?
2. Us as primates.
3. The geological time scale. The continental drift and climate change.
4. Methods of radiometric and relative dating.
5. Biology of skeleton and some methodologies used in their study.
6. Some questions of Funerary Anthropology.
7. Human Evolution
7.1. The first hominins and their characteristics
7.2. Phylogenies, morphology and behaviour of hominins
7.3. Use of tools, meat consumption and gathering behaviour
7.4. The hominins of Pleistocene
7.5. The anatomically modern humans
- The Upper Palaeolithic technology
- The behavioir of Homo sapiens sapiens
- Origin and dispersal of anatomically modern humans


Boyd, R. & Silk, J. B., 2012. How humans evolved. 6th Ed. NT, London, W.W. Norton & Company.
Cartwright, J., 2000. Evolution and Human Behavior. Cambridge, The MIT Press.
Conde, C. J. C. & Ayala, F. J., 2001. Senderos de la Evolución Humana. Madrid, Alianza Editorial.
Jones, S., Martin, R. D. & Pilbeam, D. (eds.), 1995. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Matsuzawa, T. (ed.), 2001. Primate Origins of Human Cognition and Behavior. Tokyo, Springer-Verlag.
Vieira, A. B., 1995. Ensaios sobre a Evolução do Homem e da Linguagem. Lisboa, Fim de Século Edições.

Teaching method

The functioning of the discipline consists of lectures, that, nevertheless, allows discussion of a few topics with the students. Some documentaries related with the topics presented will be displayed in class, and discussed.

Evaluation method

Evaluation will be based on a final exam, being also considered the presence and participation of students in class. The exam will cover all topics taught during the semester.