Prehistoric Archaeology (Hunter-Gatherer Societies)


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

João Carlos Muralha Cardoso


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





BICHO, N. F. (2006). Manual de Arqueologia Pré-histórica, Lisboa: Edições 70. ARQ 420/A (UNLFCSH/BMSC) - 63112
BOYD, R.; SILK, J.B. (2009). How humans evolved (5th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. ANT 1227 (UNLFCSH/BMSC) – 57707
CARDOSO, J.L. (2007). Pré-História de Portugal. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta. # ARQ 398 (UNLFCSH/BMSC) - 58501
GAMBLE, C.; BALLART, J. (2001). Las Sociedades paleolíticas de Europa. Barcelona: Ariel
LÓPEZ GARCÍA, P. (Coord.). (2017). La Prehistoria en la Península Ibérica. Madrid: Itsmo.
SCARRE, C. (Ed.). (2013). The human past: World prehistory and the development of human societies (3rd ed.). New York: Thames e Hudson. ARQ REF 13 (UNLFCSH/BMSC) – 64484

Teaching method

Classroom, theoretical-practical, with abundant resource to the image (specific iconography), and critical analysis of texts

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Critical review(50%), Written test in person(50%)

Subject matter

0. Introduction: The study of the human past.
0.1 Prehistory and Prehistoric Archeology.
0.2 Genesis and development of prehistoric studies.
0.3 The Quaternary: chronology, geology and climate.
1. Hominization: From primates to men.
1.1 Theoretical models on the evolution of species.
1.2 From first primates to first hominids.
1.3 The genus Homo. The lithic industries of the ancient paleolithic.
1.4 Hominids spread around the world.
2. Neanderthal man and the Middle Paleolithic.
3. The anatomically modern man.
3.1 Upper Paleolithic societies.
3.2 The origin of symbolic thinking.
4. A new environmental framework; the Holocene.
4.1. The Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.


Programs where the course is taught: