ANTH 2: Human Origins FINAL EXAMINATION

ANTH 2: Human Origins FINAL EXAMINATION

Purpose of the final exam is to evaluate your familiarity with the topics discussed in this
class: where humans fit in the primate world, what changes occurred during the course of human evolution, and what characterizes human populations today. The exam consists of two questions; you need to answer both to receive full points. Answer the questions in a separate document.
Upload your answers as a single .doc or a .pdf file on the course website, under Assignments à
Final exam. DUE DATE for submitting the exam is Friday, December 18 at 11 AM. The course
website will remain open for submission until Saturday 11 AM. After that, the website will close
and it will no longer be possible to submit assignments. 
In answering the exam questions, rely on information presented in the lecture slides and
the textbook readings. The emphasis of the exam is on the material covered after the second
midterm, but you may want to briefly refresh your memory and look into the concepts discussed
early in the course, related to primate behaviors, genetics, and evolutionary theory. Your grade
will not be based on the opinions you express, but on your knowledge of the human evolution
and modern human variation. 
The answers should represent your own individual work. Even though you are free to
consult course readings and lecture slides, the answers should be written in your own words. If
you are discussing the exam with your peers, the ideas included in the answers need to be the
result of your own analysis. 
If you use outside sources, make sure the sources are reliable (journal articles/edited
books), and cite them in the text and include Work Cited section at the end of your exam. The
preferred citation style in biological anthropology is APA; consult the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association (APA) (https://apastyle.apa.org/ ) for instructions.
Alternatively, you can use any other recognizable citation style (MLA, CBE, etc.). Course
material – readings, textbook, and lectures – do not need to be cited in the text or listed in the
Work Cited section. However, if you are using direct quotes from any of the readings – including
the textbook — you do need to enclose them in quotation marks and cite the source in
parenthesis. When submitting your exam on Canvas, the exam will be automatically submitted to
Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software.
EXAM PROMPT
1.  (70 points) Throughout this class, you have learned about different features –
morphological, behavioral, cognitive, etc. – that humans share with other primates, and
some features that we consider to be uniquely human. Choose ONE of the uniquely
human traits discussed in the class and analyze it from a comparative and evolutionary
perspective. The trait in question can be a behavioral trait or a morphological trait,
anything related to the uniquely human cognitive capacities, or anything else that can be
reasonably compared with other primates and approached from an evolutionary
perspective. In answering this question, address the following points: (1) define the trait
you are examining; (2) discuss if the trait appears in other non-human primates – as
discussed in the first part of the class — and, if it does, specify what is different about the
trait in humans; and (3) provide an overview of the trait’s appearance during the human
evolution, as inferred from the fossil and/or archaeological record. In answering the last
part of the question, be specific: identify the fossil species you are discussing, the time
period and the geographical area which they inhabited. If the trait is something whose
evolutionary history cannot be reconstructed based on the fossil/archaeological record,
specify so and briefly discuss why would this be the case.
2.  (30 points) The focus of the last lecture and of the readings assigned for Wednesday and
Friday of Week 10 was the variation across living human populations. Briefly discuss
human biological variations: how variable are living humans as a species, what traits tend
to vary across populations, and what are possible reasons behind the observed variations?
In answering this question, you are required to refer to the AAA Statement on Race at
least once
(https://www.americananthro.org/ConnectWithAAA/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=2583).
3.  Extra credit:
What was the name of your instructor’s dog (3 points)? 


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