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Essentials of Physical Anthropology

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  1. Essentials of Physical Anthropology Sixth Edition

  2. Chapter 1 Introduction

  3. Chapter Outline • What is Anthropology? • Cultural Anthropology • Archaeology • Linguistic Anthropology

  4. Chapter Outline • Physical Anthropology • Physical Anthropology and the Scientific Method • The Anthropological Perspective

  5. Hominids • Humans are hominids, belonging to the taxonomic family Hominidae. • Bipedalism, walking on two legs, is a critical feature of the hominids. • Humans are members of the Order Primates, the group of mammals that includes prosimians, monkeys and apes.

  6. Issues for Physical Anthropologists • Evolution • A change in the genetic structure of a population. • Adaptation • Functional response of organisms or populations to the environment. • Adaptation results from evolutionary change.

  7. Evolution • Microevolution • Small genetic changes that occur within a species. • Macroevolution • Changes that occur only after many generations, such as the appearance of a new species (speciation).

  8. technologies subsistence patterns housing types clothing religion marriage and family values gender roles Culture • Strategies humans use to adapt to their environment:

  9. Culture • Culture is learned, and the process of learning one’s culture begins at birth. • Even though culture isn’t genetically determined, the human predisposition to assimilate culture is influenced by genetics. • Over time, culture and biology interacted in such a way that humans are said to be the result of biocultural evolution.

  10. What Is Anthropology? • The study of humankind. • Integrates sociology, economics, history, psychology, and biology. • Comprises three subfields: • cultural anthropology • archaeology • physical (or biological) anthropology

  11. Cultural Anthropology • Studies all aspects of human behavior. • Subfields: • Urban anthropology deals with issues of inner cities. • Medical anthropology explores relationship between culture and health.

  12. Archaeology • Study and interpretation of material remains recovered from earlier cultures. • Information about culture comes from artifacts and material culture left by early hominids.

  13. Linguistic Anthropology • Study of the origin of language and speech. • The use of language is a unique human characteristic. • Relationship between culture and language: • How do members of a society perceive phenomena? • How does the use of language shape perceptions?

  14. Physical Anthropology • Study of human biology in the framework of evolution. • Subfields: • Paleoanthropology - human evolution • Anthropometry - measurement of body parts • Primatology: study of nonhuman primates • Osteology: study of skeletons

  15. Physical Anthropologyand the Scientific Method • State the research problem. • Develop a hypothesis. • Test the hypothesis through data collection and analysis. • If the hypothesis is verified, it becomes a theory.

  16. Anthropological Perspective • A broad perspective that helps us understand the diversity of the human experience within the context of biological and behavioral continuity with other species. • By learning about cultures other than our own, we can avoid an ethnocentric view of other cultures. • By recognizing that we have similarities with other animals, we may recognize that they have a place in nature just as we do.

  17. Quick Quiz

  18. 1. The mammalian group that humans belong to is the Order • Carnivora. • Rodentia. • Primates. • Chiroptera.

  19. Answer: c • The mammalian group that humans belong to is the Order Primates.

  20. 2. Culture is • inherited by a simple genetic transmission. • a biological trait of our species. • learned. • the strategy by which many mammals adapt to their environment.

  21. Answer: c • Culture is learned.

  22. 3. Anthropologists who conduct excavations in order to recover artifacts are • archaeologists • ethnologists • linguists • medical anthropologists

  23. Answer: a • Anthropologists who conduct excavations in order to recover artifacts are archaeologists.

  24. 4. Physical anthropologists developed techniques for measuring the human body. These type of measurements are called: • calibration • dermatoglyphics • genetics • anthropometrics

  25. Answer: d • Physical anthropologists developed techniques for measuring the human body. These type of measurements are called anthropometrics.