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Lecture

What is Anthropology-January 10.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHROP 1AA3
Professor
Tracy Prowse

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What is Anthropology? Continued January 10, 2013 Osteology Osteo=bone; ology=study of -study of the structure and function of the human skeleton -foundational; understanding this provides us with a basis of understanding the fossil records, looking skeletons of the past, way our bodies adapt (apply to present) -central to physical anthropology Important for understanding: -changes in fossils -how we lived in the past -adaptations in living populations Example-How do we know if an organism is bipedal (walks on two feet)? -unique characteristics of humans is that we walk bipedally Human vs. Great Ape -hole at the bottom of our skulls foramen magnumwhere the spinal column enters -in humans this whole is directly under the skull -in great apes situated more to the back -humans have a spinal column that is double ‘s’ -shape of pelvis in the human vs. great ape  humans have an open basin like pelvis vs. great apes they have narrow tall pelvises -leg structure also differs humans are a little bit knock kneed vs. great apes whose legs go straight down If looking for evidence of early humans -can actually look at the structure of the fossil and imply function Paleoanthropology Note: paleontology fossil animals and plants -people that study human fossils are paleoanthropologists -when and where do we see the first evidence for humans? -what are human characteristics?  what makes a specific fossil human Primatology Jane Goodall Primatologist, very famous, 1960s went and spent time observing chimps in the wild, she was very famous for identifying the use of tools in chimps, dispelled the myth of easy-going primates. -study of nonhuman primates -social behaviour, communication, infant care, reproduction (looking at living primates) -understand natural forces that have shaped human evolution and aspects of human behaviour (=context) because their natural living situation was likely comparable to where we evolved Human Biology -don’t just focus on skeletal remains -also look at living populations; differences, variations -human growth and development -adaptation to environmental extremes (high altitude, extreme heat vs. cold) -African woman image: tall and lean; more sun exposure dissipate heat -Inuit woman image: shorter, stalkier retain heat better -possibly adaptation that has developed over time Forensic Anthropology -application of anthropology and the law -not archeological, likely modern -someone who looks at human remains where decomposition has occurred to the point where decomposition occurs until there is no
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