Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Academic Classes and Activities

The field school is seven weeks in length. Classes and activities are divided into segments so that students experience a greater range of the disciplines that support paleoanthropology.

First Days: The first few days are spent at a guest house in Addis Ababa with days in the National Museum of Ethiopia working on fossils. Following this, students and all their belongings leave on the twelve hour journey to the small village of Elowaha, approximately 40 kilometers from the field site. The following day we drive to Hadar and set up camp.

Small groups of students rotate through classes from each of the faculty members. The first few days in the field are spent learning basic geology and visiting many of the hominin sites. The order of Modules does not matter after that initial survey. All students will do a research project in the last week.

Module 1: Sedimentary Geology and Geochronology of Hadar, Ethiopia

Module 2: Paleontology and Context of Australopithecus and Early Homo at Hadar

Module 3: Australopithecus and Early Homo at Hadar: morphology and systematics

Module 4: Field Methods in Oldowan Archaeology

Module 5: Research Project. Each student, in conjunction with faculty create and implement a research project that is presented to the field school population at the end of the season. These projects are wide-ranging and include working on hominin variation through paleoecological analysis.

Students have examinations at the end of each module (except 5), and are graded on final research projects. Each module counts for 3 credits and will be given in the areas of physical anthropology, geology and archaeology.

Other Information:The Hadar locality is a remote area of the Afar regional State, Ethiopia. The nearest village in which to purchase a coke, for example, is 40 km away. The nearest town in which to purchase more than that is about 90 km away. Therefore, activities unrelated to interacting with the local Afar people and paleoanthropology will be limited. However, we will visit the world famous Bati market in the highlands and have field trips outside of the site to look at regional geological phenomena.

Please keep in mind that the work is fun but hard, and the temperatures often exceed 115 F.

All photographs by Benjamin Reed Photography

School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Institute of Human Origins, Box 85287-4101, Tempe, AZ 85287-4101

Telephone: 480-727-6580

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