Archaeologists find the oldest burials in Ecuador

Archaeologists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) found three burials of the ancient inhabitants of South America dated from 6 to 10 thousand years ago. The excavations were carried out in Atahualpa anton, Ecuador. ...

Anthropologist plots new use for motion-capture technology

Jar Jar Binks and Gollum: Two characters hailing from entirely disparate cinematic universes, yet linked in perpetuity by the same groundbreaking tool that brought them to life in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" ...

Sign language orangutan dead at 39

Chantek, a male orangutan that learned to communicate in sign language, has died at the age of 39, a US zoo announced.

Millions of years of evolutionary history recorded in teeth

"Show me your teeth and I'll tell you who you are." These words, attributed to 19th-century naturalist George Cuvier, couldn't be more correct. The pearly whites we use every day over and over and over again are clues not ...

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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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