Prehistory (i) (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mara Gioia Migliavacca
Mara Gioia Migliavacca
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 2A dal Feb 17, 2020 al Mar 28, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Il corso è finalizzato a preparare lo studente a trattare i temi generali dell'evoluzione culturale ed economica delle società umane dal Paleolitico al Neolitico, mettendoli in relazione con le principali variazioni climatiche ed ecologiche del Pleistocene. Gli ambiti geografici di pertinenza sono il continente africano, quello asiatico sudoccidentale e soprattutto l'Europa, teatro di importanti cambiamenti geografici, climatici e bio-culturali.


The course covers the chronological and cultural interval spanning from the oldest appearance of Modern Human Behaviour in Africa, represented from a set of different evidence, up to the complex record of last hunter-gatherers and the first productive neolithic societies.
Out of Africa: following the geographic dispersion from the African continent of the species of Hominins which succedeed up to the Anatomically Modern Humans, the most important steps in the evolution of culture will be taken into consideration.
The chronology of the Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic will be the reference scale for discussing the impact of innovations in technology that have supported the human population to interact in a more complex way with the ecological context than in earlier times. The dynamics of human peopling will be assessed in relation to modifications in the distribution of lithic, vegetal and alimentary resources.
The main topics are listed below:
Object and methods of Prehistoric Archaeological Research.
Sources of information for Prehistory. Sciences involved in the reconstruction of prehistoric life.
Data interpretation.
Unit 1: Lower Palaeolithic
-- Quaternary Chronology
- General notions of Palaeoanthropology
- Basic notions of Physical Geography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology
- the emergence of the first knapping stone technologies in Africa and their impact;
- the first southeuropean peopling, contests and models;
- appearance of bifaces, the Acheulean and the North-european peopling.
Unit 2: Middle Palaeolithic
- from the Lower to the Middle Palaeolithic, technological changes and in the Human-resources interaction;
- the age of the Neandertal Man: economy, technologies, settlements;
- the appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa and the first spreads;
- Anatomically Modern Humans and the Others: the state of art. Hypotheses, models and methodological problems;
- The Neandertal demise in Eurasia.
Unit 3: Upper Palaeolithic
- The lower and middle phases of the Upper Palaeolithic: Aurignacian and Gravettian and climatic and ecological interactions;
- The Upper Palaeolithic during the Late-Glacial, demographic increase;
Unit 4: Mesolithic and Neolithic
- The Holocene, the Mesolithic, the colonization of the ecological extremes, the demographic increase.
- The Neolithic, the first colonization of Europe and Italy, settlements and cultures.
Unit 5: Neolithic and the beginning of Copper Age
- cultures and settlements of Northern Italy
- metallurgy and transformation processes
- Settlements, funeral practices and economy of Copper Age

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
A. Pessina, V. Tinè Archeologia del Neolitico. L'Italia tra sesto e quarto millennio. (Edizione 1) Carocci 2008
Marco Peresani Come Eravamo. Viaggio nell'Italia paleolitica (Edizione 264) Il Mulino 2018 9788815275295
D. Cocchi Genick Preistoria QuiEdit 2009

Assessment methods and criteria

The aim of the examination is to check the achievement of the educational objectives already described.
The examination will be an oral interview. In the first step, the student will describe and further develop a topic or a case study connected to the programme that she/he has freely chosen; some questions will verify the knowledge and comprehension of the programme, as far as both methods and contents are concerned.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, during the 2020 summer session the assessment modality will be modified as follows: online oral exam.