Anthropology and Its Branches

1728 Words Sep 30th, 2010 7 Pages
Anthropology is the study of human beings, in particular the study of their physical character, evolutionary history, racial classification, historical and present-day geographic distribution, group relationships, and cultural history. Anthropology can be characterized as the naturalistic description and interpretation of the diverse peoples of the world.
Modern-day anthropology consists of two major divisions: cultural anthropology, which deals with the study of human culture in all its aspects; and physical anthropology, which is the study of human physical character, in both the past and present.
Anthropology emerged as an independent science in the late 18th century, it developed two divisions: physical anthropology, which focuses on
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For example, paintings on walls of tombs may throw light on the status of the person buried there. Such paintings often depict practices prevalent in a society. Study of burial sites can helparchaeologists understand the religious beliefs of a group of people.

Biological Anthropology
Biological anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, deals with tracing the biological origins, evolutionary changes, and the genetic diversity of the human species. In the process, biological anthropologists study primate behavior, and anatomical variations between primates and human beings in order to understand physical changes that have taken place in humans during their evolutionary journey from apes. They may also take up genetic analysis and anthropometric studies to find reasons behind the physical differences between people of various groups.

Besides these major branches, anthropology also has other divisions like forensic anthropology, medical anthropology, and ecological anthropology. Although each branch is a specialized field of study, they are inter-related. This gives anthropologists an edge over researchers from other fields in addressing human problems, as they study human existence not in isolation but in totality.

Evolution Of Man - What is it?
The modern theory concerning the evolution of man proposes that humans and apes derive from an apelike ancestor that lived on earth a few million years ago. The theory states that man,

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