November 1 is Midterm
Essay due 22 of November
Final is 40%
What is anthropology?
o The study of humankind, in particular
o Four fields
o Other branches of anthropology archaeology, biological anthropology, etc.
o The study if human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the
analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.
Historical archaeology : definition of history history involves written records,
prehistory is lack of written records
Biological anthropology study of human zoology, evolution and ecology
Paleoanthropology Homo Floresiensis = came from the island of flores
Primatology -> study of the closest mammal to humans
Socia/cultural anthropology comparative study of human societies and
cultures and their development
Linguistics the scientific study of language and its structure, including the
study of morphology, syntax, and semantics
Evolution / process and mechanisms
What makes us different from others;
o Animals walking on 2 legs
o Use of tools
o Brain size
o Development of culture, art, abstract thinking
o Development of complex civilization
September 13 2012 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY
the more that we understand our biological past, the better we will understand many modern
o it demonstrates that modern humans are cultural and biological beings whose present
and future reflect their past
humans are more unique than animals in the capacity to ask the question why
o we can learn about our deep, rich past, and by doing so we gain the opportunity to
profit from the experience
o these qualities are fundamental motivations for the field of anthropology and for this
book as an introduction to the biocultural perspective of human evolution anthropology addresses the entire scope of the human experience and brings multiple
perpectives to bear on the study of what it is to be human
o it is also concerned with the biological and evolutionary dimensions of our species, such
as genetics, anatomy, skeletal structure, adaptation to disease and other environemtnal
factors, growth, nutrition, and all the evolutionary process that resulted in the
development of modern humans
o Humans are the product of the combined influences of biology and culture that have
shaped our evolutionary history over the last several million years.
o Culture is an extremely important concept, not only as it pertains to modern humans
but also in terms of its critical role in human evolution, past as well as future
o Culture shapes peoples perceptions of the external environemtn, or worldview, in
particular ways that distinguish each society from all others
o Cultures is LEARNED and not biologically determined
In other words, we inherit genes that influence our biological characteristics,
but those genes have no impact on cultural behavior.
o In infancy, each of us begins slowly to learn through the process called enculturation,
the language and dialect of our family and community, as well as shared norms, values,
beliefs, and other aspects of culture that we need to be a productive member of the
society of which we are a part.
WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGY?
o The study of human kind
o Derives from the greek word ‘anthropos’, meaning human
o In the USA, anthropology comprises 3 main subfields:
Cultural anthropology (also called social anthropology)
is the study of all aspects of human behaviour.
20 century of global, social, political, and economic have changed the
focus of cultural anthropolgy