background preloader

Branches of Biological Anthropology

Facebook Twitter

As a subfield of anthropology, biological anthropology itself is further divided into several branches. All branches are united in their common application of evolutionary theory to understanding human morphology and behavior.

Bioarchaeology. The term bioarchaeology was first coined by British archaeologist Grahame Clark in 1972 as a reference to zooarchaeology, or the study of animal bones from archaeological sites.

Bioarchaeology

Redefined in 1977 by Jane Buikstra, bioarchaeology in the US now refers to the scientific study of human remains from archaeological sites, a discipline known in other countries as osteoarchaeology or palaeo-osteology. In England and other European countries, the term 'bioarchaeology' is borrowed to cover all biological remains from sites. Biomedical Anthropology. Forensic anthropology. Forensic anthropology is the application of the science of anthropology in a legal setting—most often physical anthropology and human biology are used in criminal cases (FBI, CIA and military) where the victim's remains are in the advanced stages of decomposition. A forensic physical anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, burned, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable. The adjective "forensic" refers to the application of this sub-field of science to a court of law. Written in Bone - A Highly Unusual Case.

In 2002, archaeologists uncovered an isolated grave just outside the log wall of a fort built on an island in the James River almost four centuries earlier.

Written in Bone - A Highly Unusual Case

Who was buried there? Male skeleton (burial partially re-created for an exhibition) 1607, James Fort site, Jamestown Virginia. Image courtesy of: APVA Preservation Virginia/Historic Jamestowne The discovery mystified investigators. Unlike nearly all the other early fort burials they had found, this one once held a coffin. Smithsonian forensic anthropologists joined archaeologists from APVA Preservation Virginia who were excavating the site where the fort once stood—the first permanent English settlement in North America. The Tarahumaras: An Endangered Species : Mexico Culture & Arts.

Shep Lenchek Never conquered by the Aztecs and despite being defeated by Mexican armies, the Tarahumaras still consider themselves an independant nation.

The Tarahumaras: An Endangered Species : Mexico Culture & Arts

So strong is this conviction that in the Fifties they more than once took complaints directly to the United Nations. Perhaps the purest and most unmixed of any Indian tribe in Mexico, so little is known about them that their true name "Raramuri" was corrupted to "Tarahumara" by white men and never corrected. Most of the world knows them only as long distance runners. Living in high altitudes, they have developed tremendous lung capacity and in more primitive times hunted deer and mountain goats, running them down on foot.

However, this running ability is only one facet of their life style. Psychologists suggest that over the centuries this value system has actually caused physiological changes in their brain that preclude speaking anything but the truth. Luis G. God is both Father and Mother. Researchers uncover 8,000 years of human history hidden in the Middle East. Which would be interesting, seeing as, when interpreted literally, the Bible also claims that the universe was created between 6000-8000 years ago.

Researchers uncover 8,000 years of human history hidden in the Middle East

Which is problematic, to say the least. EDIT: Not to mention the mental gymnastics required to reconcile the (presumably) carbon dating of the earliest Mesopotamian settlements to 8000 years ago and the fact that that same dating methods go on to describe artifacts and fossils that are up to 40 000 years old. As I recall, Asimov hypothesized that the age of creation used in the Bible is actually linked to the point at which we (or rather Near Eastern peoples) began recording history in the form of writing. Not sure how strong his evidence was but it sounds reasonable intuitively. Human. Humans began to practice sedentary agriculture about 12,000 years ago, domesticating plants and animals which allowed for the growth of civilization.

Human

Humans subsequently established various forms of government, religion, and culture around the world, unifying people within a region and leading to the development of states and empires. The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries led to the development of fuel-driven technologies and improved health, causing the human population to rise exponentially.

By 2012 the global human population was estimated to be around 7 billion.[10][11] Human behavioral ecology. Evolutionary theory[edit] Human behavioral ecology rests upon a foundation of evolutionary theory.

Human behavioral ecology

This includes aspects of both general evolutionary theory and established middle-level evolutionary theories, as well. Aspects of general evolutionary theory include: Middle-level evolutionary theories used in HBE include: Basic principles of HBE[edit] Ecological selectionism[edit] Ecological selectionism refers to the assumption that humans are highly flexible in their behaviors. Paleoanthropology. Paleoanthropology (English: Palaeoanthropology; from Greek: παλαιός (palaeos) "old, ancient"), anthrōpos (ἄνθρωπος), "man", understood to mean humanity, and -logia (-λογία), "discourse" or "study"), which combines the disciplines of paleontology and physical anthropology, is the study of ancient humans as found in fossil hominid evidence such as petrifacted bones and footprints.

Paleoanthropology

Paleopathology. Tuberculosis spine mummy Paleopathology, also spelled palaeopathology, is the study of ancient diseases.

Paleopathology

It is useful in understanding the history of diseases, and uses this understanding to predict its course in the future. History of paleopathology[edit] Primatology. Primatology is the scientific study of primates.[1] It is a diverse discipline and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, veterinary sciences and zoology, as well as in animal sanctuaries, biomedical research facilities, museums and zoos.[2] Primatologists study both living and extinct primates in their natural habitats and in laboratories by conducting field studies and experiments in order to understand aspects of their evolution and behaviour.

Primatology

Primatologists often divide primates into three groups for study: dominant females, females and young, and peripheral males.[3] Sub-disciplines[edit] As a science, primatology has many different sub-disciplines which vary in terms of theoretical and methodological approaches to the subject used in researching extant primates and their extinct ancestors. There are two main centers of primatology, Western primatology and Japanese primatology.

Western primatology[edit]