Graduate Study - Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
3+2 Genetics and Bioengineering - Antropological Genetics

Code Name Level Year Semester
GBEAG 106 Human Evolution II - Evolution of the Genus Homo Graduate 1 Spring
Status Number of ECTS Credits Class Hours Per Week Total Hours Per Semester Language
6 145 English

Instructor Assistant Coordinator
Damir Marjanović, Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Damir Marjanović Damir Marjanović, Prof. Dr.
[email protected] [email protected] no email

This course follows the biological, changes and developments in the evolution of the genus Homo. Overview of fossil record is provided and discussed within the framework of main cultural developments (e.g. beginnings of culture, discovery of fire, hunting etc.) that became linked in our biocultural past. Further, models of anatomically modern human emergence are discussed.

Main course objectives are to:
• Provide an understanding of theoretical and practical issues related to the evolution of the genus Homo
• Provide an overview of the main discoveries
• Provide a detailed overview of the fossil data and taxa
• Provide an overview of main cultural developments that affected our biological evolution

  1. What is a human? Defining “us”: Homo vs. Australopithecus (H. habilis/H.rudolfensis)
  2. Culture that shaped us: behavioral context of human emergence
  3. People like us: Homo ergaster/erectus
  4. African homeland and new discoveries: problems and issues
  5. The first odyssey: leaving Africa
  6. The first Europeans: culture and biology
  7. The Middle Pleistocene in Europe
  8. Midterm exam
  9. The Middle Pleistocene in Asia
  10. The Neanderthals 1: a brief history
  11. The Neanderthals 2: current data
  12. African genesis: The Middle and Upper Pleistocene record
  13. The second odyssey: leaving Africa (again): biocultural record of Eurasia
  14. Are we alone? Current state of fossil and genetic research
  15. Putting it all together


    • Interactive Lectures
    • Presentation
    • Problem solving
    • Assignments
    • Case Studies
    Description (%)
    Method Quantity Percentage (%)
    Midterm Exam(s)120
    Term Paper130
    Final Exam150
    Total: 100
    Learning outcomes
    • Understand key issues and problems related to the evolution of our genus
    • Understand the importance of cultural aspects in human evolution
    • Will be familiar with major discoveries, sites and fossil data in their geographical and temporal settings
    • Understand contemporary issues and the current state of debate related to modern human origins
    • Janković, I. & Karavanić, I., 2009. Osvit čovječanstva: počeci našeg biološkog i kulturnog razvoja. Zagreb: Školska Knjiga.
    • Smith, F.H., Ahern, J.C.M., Janković, I., Karavanić, I. 2016. The Assimilation Model of modern human origins in light of current genetic and genomic knowledge. Quaternary International (2016):1-11.

    ECTS (Allocated based on student) WORKLOAD
    Activities Quantity Duration (Hour) Total Work Load
    Lecture (14 weeks x Lecture hours per week)14342
    Laboratory / Practice (14 weeks x Laboratory/Practice hours per week)14228
    Midterm Examination (1 week)122
    Final Examination(1 week)122
    Preparation for Midterm Examination11010
    Preparation for Final Examination12020
    Assignment / Homework/ Project12121
    Seminar / Presentation12020
    Total Workload: 145
    ECTS Credit (Total workload/25): 6