Chapter 1: Introduction to Anthropology
Anthropology: The Four Subfields (pg. 1)
Anthropology is the study of humanity
Anthropologists study human beings as a biological organism and as people with
distinctive and unique culture
Four subfields of anthropology consists of
o Physical anthropology
o Archaeology anthropology
o Linguistic anthropology
o Cultural anthropology/Ethnology
Physical Anthropology (pg. 2)
Physical anthropology researches human evolution and modern human variation.
Fossils are used to trace back humans ancestry.
Paleoanthropology is the study of human evolution.
o Palaeontologists examine fossils and remains and study humans and their
Other physical anthropologist examines primates to observe the human evolution.
This is known as primatology
Primatology is the study of primates.
o Studies gorillas, gibbons and orang-utans
Some groups of physical anthropologist studies the physical characteristics such
o Body size
o Skin tone
o Blood type
o Physical anthropology
Physical anthropologist are interested in how humans adapt to environmental
conditions such as cold weather, high altitudes etc.
Physical anthropology research has provided patterns of human violence.
Genetics was a key source for physical anthropologist to research on human
disease and evolution
Archaeology (pg. 4)
Archaeology is the systemic study of humanity in the past, not only of human
behaviour and technology but also of every aspect of human culture
Artifacts provides clues to past societies
They spend hours sorting through middens (dumps, waste) to figure out:
o Where past societies ate their meals
o What tools they used at in their homes and work
o Their beliefs
Chapter 1: Introduction to Anthropology Ethnoarchaeology is the study of artifacts and modern people who knows the
significance of those artifacts
Ethnoarchaeological research involves studying chicha production and how
indigenous people were providing inputs of labour, raw materials and the different
technologies used to brew chicha
Chicha is the production/consumption of ancient beer and it’s a tradition that has
been carried out in modern brewing
Linguistic Anthropology (pg. 6)
Linguistic is the study of languages
So what is Linguistic Anthropology?
o Studies the relationship between languages and culture
o Sees how languages is used within society
o How the brain acquires and uses language
o Studies connections of languages and social behaviour in different cultures
Linguistic Anthropology can be broken down into 2 sections
o Structural Linguistics
o Historical Linguistics
Structural Linguistic sees how languages work
o Structural Linguists compare grammatical patterns or other linguistic
They use it to compare how they copy one another and differ from
Historical Linguistic compares the modern language and links it to historical
o Used to trace how society migrated to different areas through time
Cultural Anthropology or Ethnology (pg. 7)
Cultural Anthropology or Ethnology examines various societies and cultures
throughout the world
Cultural Anthropologist uses a technique called participant observation in their
o Participant observation allows the cultural anthropologist to learn the
language and culture of the group being studied by participating in their
The report after the cultural anthropologist does the fieldwork is called