The Near East, archaeologically, is the most intensely researched area in the world. The research, spanning 150 years, reveals a continuous record of human adaptation spanning two million years, five human species, multiple major environmental changes, and shifts in human adaptive strategies from nomadic hunting and gathering to sedentary village agriculture and the emergence of urban centers "civilization." The archaeological record of this extraordinary period beginning two million years ago until about 4000 BC is reviewed. Emphasis is placed on the human response to social and ecological changes. The course examines how the emergence of sedentary settlements, surplus food production, population growth, interregional trade, and social-economically stratified societies fundamentally changed the human condition. Recommended preparation: ANTH 102 or ANTH 107.