Chp 1Fields of Anthropology.docx

Chp 1Fields of Anthropology.docx - Fields of Anthropology...

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Fields of Anthropology There are now four major fields of anthropology: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. Each focuses on a different set of research interests and generally uses different research techniques. The methods range from those commonly used by the social sciences and humanities to those of biology and geology. Biological anthropology and archaeology are generally the closest to the biological and physical sciences in methods and approach to learning about the human experience.    A brief look at the 4 main fields of anthropology To return here, you must click the "back" button on your browser program. (length = 47 secs) ( closed caption version ) Biological Anthropology Biological (or physical) anthropologists carry out systematic studies of the non-cultural aspects of humans and near-humans. Non-cultural refers to all of those biological characteristics that are genetically inherited in contrast to learned. Near-human is a category that includes monkeys, apes, and the other primates as well as our fossil ancestors. The primary interest of most biological anthropologists today is human evolution --they want to learn how our ancestors changed through time to become what we are today. Biological anthropologists also are interested in understanding the mechanisms of evolution and genetic inheritance as well as human variation and adaptations to different environmental stresses, such as those found at high altitudes and in environments that have temperature extremes.   Paleoanthropologists searching for fossils and artifacts of our distant human ancestors  
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in a French cave Biological anthropologists are usually involved in one of three different areas of research: human biology, primatology, or paleoanthropology. Human biology is concerned with learning about human diversity, genetic inheritance patterns, non-cultural adaptations to environmental stresses, and other biological characteristics of our species, Homo sapiens . Primatologists carry out non-human primate studies. This is usually done in a natural setting among wild apes, monkeys, and related animals. They are principally interested in learning about the capabilities and behavior patterns of primates--our closest living relatives. It is likely that the great apes in particular can give us important clues to understanding the lives of our earliest human ancestors over 2 million years ago. Paleoanthropologists recover the fossil record of early humans and their primate ancestors in order to understand the path of our evolution. In doing this, they often work with geologists, paleozoologists, and scientists with other specialties who help them reconstruct ancient environments.    Introduction to biological anthropology --what biological anthropologists study To return here, you must click the "back" button on your browser program.
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