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Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses

NOTE: Lectures are usually held four times a week, but the fifth day may also be used and should therefore be kept free.

First-Year Courses


AGE1002S AFRICA & WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY

NQF credits: 18 at HEQSF level 5
Convener: Dr D C Salazar Garcia
Course entry requirements: None
Course outline:
This course will provide an overview of the human past from the perspective of Africa, including an introduction to human origins and the origin of the archaeological record in Africa, the expansion of the human population from Africa, a comparative perspective on hunter-gatherers, the development of farming and the origins of complex societies, and the contact between Africa, Asia and Europe in the colonial  period.

                  Period

             Mon  Tue  Wed  Thu  Fri
Lectures: 5       5      5      5
Tutorials: One tutorial/practical per week, Friday, 5th period or as arranged.
DP requirements: Attendance and participation in lectures and tutorials; submission of written work.
Assessment: Essays and tests count 50%; one 3-hour examination in November counts 50%. A sub-minimum of 40% is required for the examination.


AGE1004S INTRODUCTION TO EARTH & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

NQF credits: 18 at HEQSF level 5
Convener: Dr R Sithaldeen
Course entry requirements: Permission of the Dean or Head of Department is required prior to registration for this course. Attendance and satisfactory performance in each of the three fieldtrips and reports in GEO1009F
NOTES:
1) This course is intended for students who have failed GEO1009F (see entry in Department of Geological Sciences) and have therefore been advised to register for AGE1004S.
2) The course covers similar material to GEO1009F but places an emphasis on the strengthening of foundational concepts and skills, thecarefully-paced introduction of new material, and the development of sound approaches to effective learning.
3) AGE1004S is equivalent to GEO1009F in level, credit value towards the degree and as prerequisite for certain other courses.

Course outline:

This course will introduce students to the structure and geological history of Earth as well as the interactions between the abiotic and biotic systems that shape the surface of the world. Human interactions with the environment are also discussed. Topics covered are solar system evolution, plate tectonics, the structure of the earth, climate-land interactions, the evolution of landscapes, biogeography, human adaptation and interaction with the natural environment.

Lectures: To be advised
Practicals: One practical per week, Friday, 14h00-17h00.
DP requirements: A class record of at least 40%; attendance at 80% each of practicals, tutorials and spot tests.
Assessment: Class project, tests, practicals and field report count 50%; one 2-hour examination written in November counts 50%. A sub-minimum of 40% is required for the final exam.


Second-Year Courses

AGE2011S HUMAN EVOLUTION

NQF credits: 24 at HEQSF level 6
Convener: Dr D Stynder
Course entry requirements: Any first-year Science course, or any first-year Humanities course from a related discipline such as Social Anthropology, Historical Studies, Sociology, etc or by permission of the Head of Department.
Course outline:
In AGE2011S we examine the record of primate and hominid evolution, showing how the traces of fossil skeletons and artefacts are interpreted in terms of human behaviour and evolutionary processes. We answer questions such as Why in Africa? Why a larger brain? Why bipedalism? Why make tools? and situate the study of human origins in its evolutionary context. The syllabus for AGE2011S includes practical sessions for the study of primate and human, fossil and recent skeletal material and the artefacts associated with early hominids.
                             Period
                 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Lectures:      2    2      2     2
Practicals: One 2-hour practical per week at times to be arranged.
DP requirements: Attendance at lectures and practicals and completion of assignments.
Assessment: Essays and tests count 50%; one 3-hour examination in October/November counts 50%. A sub-minimum of 40% is required for the examination.


AGE2012F SOUTHERN AFRICAN HUNTERS & HERDERS

NQF credits: 24 at HEQSF level 6
Convener: Dr J Wilkins
Course entry requirements: Any first year Science course, or any first-year Humanities course from a related discipline such as Social

Anthropology, Historical Studies, Sociology, etc or by permission of the Head of Department.
Course outline:
Humans have been hunter-gatherers for 99% of their evolutionary history, which means that our physical, psychological and social selves have been shaped by this way of life. Southern African Khoesan hunter-gatherers and herders have contributed significantly to our understanding of such societies. In this course, we focus on hunting and gathering as a way of life in Southern Africa from some 20 000 years ago to the twentieth century, concluding by considering the contemporary socio-political environment, in which many South Africans are (re-)connecting to a Khoesan identity. The course will include coverage of rock art and its significance, as well as other material culture, biology, linguistics and economic and environmental issues.
                               Period
                  Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Lectures:       2     2     2      2
Practicals: One 2-hour practical per week, at times to be arranged.
DP requirements: Attendance at lectures and practicals, completion of assignments and participation in a one-day fieldtrip.
Assessment: Practical hand-ins, essays and tests count 50%; one 3-hour examination in June counts 50%. A sub-minimum of 40% is required for the examination.


Third-Year Courses

AGE3006H DIRECTED READING & RESEARCH

NQF credits: 36 at HEQSF level 7
Course entry requirements: For students specialising in Archaeology, with permission of the Head of Department.
Course outline:
A flexible intensive study course in a specific area customised to the needs of individual students.
Lectures: By arrangement
DP requirements: Completion of assignments.
Assessment: Essays and tests count 20%; a long paper counts 40%; one 3-hour examination in November counts 40%.



AGE3011F ROOTS OF BLACK IDENTITY

NQF credits: 36 at HEQSF level 7
Convener: Associate Professor S Chirikure
Course entry requirements: AGE2011S or AGE2012F, or by permission of the Head of Department.
Course outline:
In AGE3011F we explore the history of southern Africa's people over the past 2000 years. Why are southern African populations so diverse? What lies behind the linguistic map of modern South Africa? What are the links between human biology, culture and language? We use the archaeological record of artefacts, settlement systems, food waste, environmental contexts and human skeletons to look at population movement, assimilation, conflict, co-operation and domination. We explain the origins of current demographic patterns, problematise the notion of 'settler' and explore the rich and diverse heritage of the making of South Africa.
                       Period
                 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Lectures:      4    4     4      4
Practicals: One 2-hour practical per week, at times to be arranged.
DP requirements: Attendance at lectures and practicals and completion of assignments.
Assessment: Essays and tests count 50%; one 3-hour examination in June counts 50%. A sub-minimum of 40% is required for the examination.


AGE3012S GLOBAL INTERACTION & THE TRANSFORMATION OF SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIETY

NQF credits: 36 at HEQSF level 7
Convener: Associate Professor S Hall
Course entry requirements: AGE2011S or AGE2012F, or by permission of the Head of Department.
Course outline:
Over the last thousand years, trade, population movements and exploratory settlement led to massive impacts on indigenous economies in southern Africa. In AGE3012S we look at these transformations from both foreign and local viewpoints. The archaeological record of Indian and Atlantic Ocean expansions record events of great significance and drama, including the process of colonisation, slavery, genocide and eventually apartheid. Material culture, historic written records and excavated artefacts all inform our understanding of these events, many of them the major determinants of current conflicts and differences. We trace the history of interactions, the roots of inequalities and the course of differentiation through the archaeological record.
                      Period
                 Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Lectures:      4    4      4     4
Practicals: One 2-hour practical per week, at times to be arranged.
DP requirements: Attendance at lectures and practicals and completion of assignments.
Assessment: Essays and tests count 50%; one 3-hour examination in November counts 50%. A sub-minimum of 40% is required for the examination.


AGE3013H ARCHAEOLOGY IN PRACTICE

NQF credits: 36 at HEQSF level 7
NOTE: This course is a three and a half week residential field-school during the January/February vacation.
Convener: Associate Professor S Hall
Course entry requirements: AGE2011S and AGE2012F, or by permission of the Head of Department.
Course outline:
The curriculum covers field training in site location, excavation, field note taking, stratigraphic observation, site survey, use of GPS and total station, photography, rock art recording, processing of field observations, spreadsheet use, and preliminary conservation and accessioning of materials. The daily programme consists of lectures, followed by fieldwork and a short period of laboratory processing.
DP requirements: Attendance at field-school and completion of assignments.
Assessment: Essays and tests count 30%; projects count 20%; examinations count 50%.