Prehistoric Archaeology (Hunter-Gatherer Societies) - 1st semester


a) To study the origins and the methodology of the discipline, the anthropogenesis, Iberian Peninsula hominization and human communities, in Portugal, since the beginning of Paleolithic to the specialized hunters´ societies of the Upper Paleolithic, reaching those of the Late Pleistocene.
Will be treated the settlement strategies, the economic and social models, the technical evolution, the ideologies and the cognitive life of such societies.
b) To give knowledge about the origins and evolution of Humankind, during the Pleistocene, in biologic and intellectual terms, so as his interaction with natural environment.
c) To explain the importance of Prehistory in contemporaneity and the anatomic, social, technological, cognitive and ideological evolution of hunters-gatherers´ communities, from his origins, namely in the actual Portuguese territory.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Docente a definir


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Baptista, A. M., e Gomes, M.V., 1997, Arte Rupestre, Arte Rupestre e Pré-História do Vale do Côa, Trabalhos de 1995-1996, pp. 213-406, Ministério da Cultura, Lisboa.
Coppens, Y., e Picq, P., 2002, Aux Origines de L´Humanité, A. Fayard, 650 pp. Paris.
Jordan, P., 1999, Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins, Sutton Publishing, 239 pp. Gloucestershire.
Leroi-Gourhan, A., 1995, Prehistoire de l´Art Occidental, 2ª edição, Éditions Citadelles & Mazenod, 621 pp., 906 figs, Paris.
Raposo, L. 1994, O Paleolítico, História de Portugal (dir. J. Medina), vol. I, pp. 29-99, Ediclube, Amadora

Teaching method

Theoretical classes, with audio-visual information, and study visits.

Evaluation method

Classification will be obtained with two writing tests, each one with six questions and the total quotation of 20 points. The pupils are approved with the average of 10 points.

Subject matter

1.1.Definition and objectives.
1.2.The social importance of Prehistory.
1.3.From empirism to the scientific construction.
1.4.Methodology of Prehistory. Artefacts, ecofacts and cultural contexts.
1.5.Diachronology. Geological and historical ages.
2.1.Life on the Earth. Biological evolution and adaptation process.
2.2.Tertiary primates.
2.3.The Hominidea (Ramapithecus and Australopithecus). Origines, anatomic and behaviour evolution.
2.4.Homo Habilis. Anatomy, subsistence, planning of actions, and artefacts
2.5.Homo Erectus (Homo Ergaster and Homo Heidelbergensis). Anatomy and behaviour. The colonization of the Old World and the Iberian Peninsula.
3.Early and Middle Paleolithic in Portugal.
3.1.The Quaternary. Periods, landscapes and faunae.
3.2.The Preacheulean. Societies, economy, settlement patterns and lithic industries.
3.3. The Acheulean. Society, economy, settlement, technologies and evolution.
3.4.The Middle Paleolithic or Mousterian - Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis - Origines, anatomy, economy, social organization, settlement, technologies and cognitive life.
4.Upper Paleolithic
4.1.Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Origens and diffusion. Anatomy and society.
4.2.Subsistence strategies. Resources, habitats and the technologies.
4.3.The cultural evolution (Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian).
4.4.Cognitive life. The arts, evolution and interpretation.


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