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Prehistory I: the Formation of Humanity

Code: 106843 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504611 Archaeology FB 1 1


Raquel Piqué Huerta

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Ermengol Gassiot Ballbe



Objectives and Contextualisation

The subject is part of the basic subject of Prehistory and Protohistory of the Archeology Degree. It offers a comprehensive exploration of both geographical and chronological aspects, spanning from the initial hominization processes to the Mediterranean's colonization during the first millennium BCE. The primary objective of the subject is to acquire an understanding of the fundamental processes that shaped the early stages of human history. Additionally, it seeks to elucidate the methodologies employed in generating this knowledge and encourages students to critically evaluate various interpretative models. Furthermore, the subject places significant emphasis on highlighting the relevance of social and economic processes. Students are expected to comprehend phenomena such as the sexual division of labor and social discrimination. The course delves into hominization processes, covering geographic areas, chronology, the succession of hominid species, and the expansion of Homo sapiens. It also provides an introduction to the earliest human societies of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras, exploring the transition from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to the emergence of agricultural and pastoral societies.



Learning Outcomes

  • CM01 (Competence) Understand problems in the study of prehistory and protohistory associated to the need to avoid androcentric perspectives and sex or gender inequalities.
  • KM01 (Knowledge) Identify the most characteristic material remains of prehistoric and protohistoric societies.
  • KM02 (Knowledge) Recognise the main historical processes experienced by human societies in prehistory and protohistory and the factors that influenced them.
  • KM03 (Knowledge) Contextualise historical processes from the prehistoric and protohistoric archaeological record in an introductory manner.
  • KM04 (Knowledge) Identify elements of androcentrism in explanations of the origins of humankind and early societies.
  • SM01 (Skill) Synthetically explain the periods of prehistory and protohistory, both empirically and interpretively.
  • SM02 (Skill) Identify the main archaeological materials in the prehistoric and protohistoric time-frame.
  • SM03 (Skill) Effectively express oneself by applying the typical procedures used to present arguments in formal discourse when producing written work or making oral presentations on introductory aspects of prehistory and protohistory.


BLOCK 1. The hominization process.Human evolution and its protagonists.Technology, subsistence and social organization of the first hominids.

BLOCK 2. – Modern Humans.The debate on the origin and expansion of modern humans.Prehistoric colonizations.Technology, social organization and subsistence of hunter-gatherer societies of the Middle and Upper Pleistocene.

BLOCK 3. - The last hunter-gatherer societies and the causes of their transformations.


Directed activities

• Theoretical classes led by the teachers with Moodle support.

• Group work sessions and debates led by the teaching staff. Evaluation and collective discussion of textual or audio-visual material, individual and / or collective class presentations.

• Outdoor activities in museums and archaeological sites

Supervised activities

• Concerted sessions to resolve doubts about the development of the subject. Individual or small group advising sessions on specific content of the subject.

• Advice in small groups for the preparation of presentations and assignments.

• Individual or advising sessions sessions online and through Moodle.

Autonomous activity

• Personal study. Reading of texts. Search of bibliographic information

• Writing of papers. Preparation of presentations, oral comments and debates

Annotation:Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Teaching leassons, seminaries, practical work, and field trips 40 1.6 CM01, KM02, KM03, KM04, CM01
Type: Supervised      
Attendance and activities in the classroom 20 0.8 KM01, KM04, SM02, KM01
Type: Autonomous      
Written essays 75 3 KM03, SM01, SM03, KM03


The continuous evaluation system will be organized in three modules; each one will be assigned a specific weight in the final grade:

1. The directed activities (theoretical classes) account for 60%. The evaluation of theoretical knowledge will be done by means of 2 written tests (each one will account for 30% of the final qualification)

2. Supervised activities (tutoring) and attendance will be weighted with 10%. 

3. Autonomous activities will account for the remaining 30%. The evaluation will be made from the presentation of two written essays (each one will account for 15% of the final qualification).


Evaluation calendar

At the beginning of the course students will be informed of the deadlines for completion / delivery of the assignments and the date of the written test

 Requirements to pass the subject

• Presentation / completion of the evaluation exercises within the established deadlines.

• Achieve an average score of the evaluation exercises of five or more on a scale of 10

• A student will be considered not presented if he does not deliver or submit to one or more of the assessment modules within the established deadlines.

 Grading Review

 At the time of completion/delivery of each assessment activity, the teacher will inform (Moodle, SIA) of the procedure and date of revision of the grades.


•Students who have performed / presented supervised and autonomous activities within the established deadlines and have a minimum mark of 3.5.

 Conditions for the rating ‘Not evaluable’:

The student will be classified as Non-evaluable when he/she has delivered less than 30% of the evaluation assignments.


In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

 Reassessment calendar

The Faculty of Letters sets the re-evaluation dates. These dates are published on the website of the faculty in the month of July of the previous year. It is the responsibility of the students to know the date that corresponds to the revaluation of their subject. The last test of the continuous evaluation will be scheduled at least one week before the revaluation date.



Single evaluation:

- Exam 1 30%

- Exam 2 30%

- Written Essay 40%

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Attendance and activities in the classroom 10% 5 0.2 KM01, KM04, SM02
Test 60% 5 0.2 CM01, KM02, KM03, SM01
Written essays 30% 5 0.2 CM01, KM04, SM01, SM03



AGUSTÍ, Jordi., ANTÓN, Mauricio. 2013. La gran migración. La evolución humana más allá de África. Crítica, Barcelona.

BARKER, Graeme 2006. The agricultura Revolution in Prehistory: Why Did Foragers Become Farmers?. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

CELA CONDE, Camilo José. y AYALA, Francisco José 2013. Evolución Humana. El camino hacia nuestra especie. Alianza editorial, Madrid.

EIROA, Jorge Juan 2010. Prehistoria del mundo. Sello Editorial, Madrid.

LEWIN, Roger; FOLEY, Robert 2013. Principles of Human Evolution. Wiley-Blackwell.

LÓPEZ GARCÍA. Pilar (coord.) 2017. La Prehistoria en la Península Ibérica. Istmo, Madrid.

MENÉNDEZ, Mario (coord) 2012. Prehistoria antigua de la Península Ibérica. UNED, Madrid

ROSAS, Antonio 2016. La evolución del género ‘Homo’. CSIC-Catarata, Madrid.



ADOVASIO, James, SOFFER, Olga., PAGE, Jake. 2008. El sexo invisible. Lumen, Barcelona.

ÁLVAREZ FERNÁNDEZ, Esteban., BLANCO GONZÁLEZ, Antonio, RIVERO VILÁ, Olivia 2020. Prehistoria de la Península Ibérica. Ediciones Universidad Salamanca. Salamanca.

ARSUAGA, Juan Luis 1999. El collar del Neandertal: En busca de los primeros pensadores. Ed. Temas de hoy. Madrid.

BERMÚDEZ DE CASTRO, José María, 2021. Dioses y mendigos: la gran odisea de la evolución humana. Editorial Planeta, Barcelona.

BINFORD, Lewis R. 1988. En busca del pasado. Ed. Crítica, Barcelona.

DÍEZ MARTÍN, Fernando 2006.: El largo viaje. Arqueología de los orígenes humanos y las primeras migraciones. Bellaterra. Barcelona.

FINLAYSON, Clive. 2020 El neandertal inteligente. Arte rupestre, captura de aves y revolución cognitiva. Editorial Almuzara, Córdoba.

JOHNSON, Allen W., EARLE, Timothy 2003. La evolución de las sociedades humanas. Ed. Ariel Prehistoria.

MARTINEZ-NAVARRO, Bienvenido 2020. El Sapiens asesino y El Ocaso De los Neandertales. Almuzara, Córdoba.

PÄÄBO, Svante. 2015. El hombre de Neandertal: en busca de genomas perdidos. Alianza, Madrid.

PATOU-MATHIS, Marylene 2021. El hombre prehistórico es también una mujer. Una historia de la invisibilidad de las mujeres. Lumen, Barcelona.

RICHARDS, M. BRITTON, K. 2020. Archaeological Science: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press

RIPOLL LÓPEZ, Sergio (coord.) 2020. Prehistoria I: las primeras etapas de la humanidad. Editorial Universitaria Ramón Areces: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

ROSAS, Antonio. 2015. Los primeros homininos. Paleontologia humana. CSIC-Catarata, Madrid.

ROSAS GONZÁLEZ, Antonio. 2019. Los fósiles de nuestra evolución: un viaje por los yacimientos paleontológicos que explican nuestro pasado como especie. Editorial Ariel, Barcelona.

SANCHIDRIÁN, José Luis 2012, Manual de arte prehistórico. Ariel Prehistoria, Barcelona.

TORRE, Ignacio. DE LA 2008. La Arqueología de los Orígenes humanos en África. Akal, Madrid



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