Mark C. Griffin
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
San Francisco State University

Mortui vivos docent

ANTH 100 - Introduction to Biological Anthropology

The focus of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the principles of biological anthropology. Special emphasis is placed on evolutionary theory as it applies to humans and on the place of humans in the natural world.


ANTH 302 – Foundations of Human Variation

This course examines the nature and extent of heritable differences among human populations in an evolutionary perspective. The role of genetics and environment in the formation of these differences is considered, as well as the social and biological concept of race.


ANTH 530 - Undergraduate Human Osteology Practicum

ANTH 730 - Graduate Human Osteology Practicum

This course is an examination of the human skeleton from archaeological, descriptive, and morphometric perspectives.  Demographic analysis, normal and abnormal variation, and evaluation of the human skeleton in medicolegal and archaeological contexts is emphasized.  Each bone will be examined with a review of normal and abnormal variations.  The uses of anthropometric instruments will be demonstrated as well as the methods for estimating age-at-death, sex, ancestry, and population dynamics.  The ANTH 730 course will give graduate students the opportunity to refresh their anatomical knowledge and refine their analytical techniques.


ANTH 531 / 731 - Fossil Humans Practicum
This course offers a descriptive survey of the evolutionary record of humans, from the earliest hominids to the present based on the fossil record and molecular data. The material includes discussion of Tertiary hominoids and emergence of humans with emphasis on Australopithecines and later Pleistocene hominids. Theories of the origin, diversity, and continuing evolution of humans are considered.


ANTH 545 - Bioarchaeology
Over the past forty years, archaeologists and biological anthropologists have increasingly concentrated on the potential of human skeletal remains for reconstruction of past lifeways. The material builds on concepts introduced in the Human Osteology course but is focused at the population level of analysis rather than the individual level. Specifically, this course examines the reconstruction from skeletal populations of subsistence patterns, diet, disease, demography, and physical activity.


ANTH 722 -  Graduate Seminar in Biological Anthropology
The purpose of this course is to give students a graduate-level understanding of the historically significant and contemporary primary literature in biological anthropology. Participants will become conversant in the scientific evaluation of evidence from the fossil record, the skeletal record, genetic data, and comparative primatology. Participants will also learn to concisely contextualize scientific arguments concerning human evolution and biological variation.










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