Related topics: human evolution

Cro Magnon skull shows that our brains have shrunk

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new replica of an early modern human brain has provided further evidence for the theory that the human brain has been shrinking. The skull belonged to an elderly Cro Magnon man, whose skeleton is called ...

Peaceful bonobos may have something to teach humans

Humans share 98.7 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, but we share one important similarity with one species of chimp, the common chimpanzee, that we don't share with the other, the bonobo. That similarity is violence. While ...

White man's skull has Australians scratching heads

The centuries-old skull of a white man found in Australia is raising questions about whether Captain James Cook really was the first European to land on the country's east coast.

Ancient teeth raise new questions about the origins of modern man

Eight small teeth found in a cave near Rosh Haain, central Israel, are raising big questions about the earliest existence of humans and where we may have originated, says Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam. Part ...

Is the Mona Lisa a Self-Portrait?

(PhysOrg.com) -- Italian scientists hope to dig up the remains of Leonardo da Vinci in order to determine if his most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, is a disguised self-portrait.

Solving the puzzle of Henry VIII

Blood group incompatibility between Henry VIII and his wives could have driven the Tudor king's reproductive woes, and a genetic condition related to his suspected blood group could also explain Henry's dramatic mid-life ...

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Anthropology

Anthropology  /ænθrɵˈpɒlədʒi/ is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos (ἄνθρωπος), "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia (-λογία), "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German philosopher Magnus Hundt.

Anthropology's basic concerns are "What defines human life and society?", "How are social relations among humans organized?", "Who are the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens?", "What are humans' physical traits?", "How do humans behave?", "Why are there variations among different groups of humans?", "How has the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens influenced its social organization and culture?" and so forth.[citation needed]

In the United States, contemporary anthropology is typically divided into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology also known as socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and physical (or biological) anthropology. The four-field approach to anthropology is reflected in many American undergraduate textbooks and anthropology programs. At universities in the United Kingdom, and much of Europe, these "sub-fields" are frequently housed in separate departments and are seen as distinct disciplines - with the field corresponding to American socio-cultural anthropology being simply anthropology.

The social and cultural sub-field has been heavily influenced by structuralist and post-modern theories, as well as a shift toward the analysis of modern societies. During the 1970s and 1990s there was an epistemological shift away from the positivist traditions that had largely informed the discipline. During this shift, enduring questions about the nature and production of knowledge came to occupy a central place in cultural and social anthropology. In contrast, archaeology and biological anthropology remained largely positivist. Due to this difference in epistemology, anthropology as a discipline has lacked cohesion over the last several decades.

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