Physical Anthropology

An Introduction to Physical Anthropology



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Physical anthropology is the study of man's body and how it affects his progress; this covers the science of biometry and anthropometry, which explains the method of measuring the body and comparing the measurements of different races and groups. It covers the science of Ethnology which is the study of different peoples and cultures, or ways of life; the science of Sociology which is the study of human behavior in groups living together; the science of Linguistics which is the study and comparison of languages used by men in all times; the science of Archaelogy which is the study of man through the things he has made and used, such as tools, works of art and building; the science of Applied Anthropology which is the study of human behavior so as to predict how men act in certain situations and circumstances.

The general definition of anthropology is the study of man - what he is like and how he lives and behaves, and almost everything else about him. The name originates from the Greek words, anthropos, meaning "man," and logos, meaning "study." Anthropology is one of the most important modern sciences. Less than a hundred years ago, it was practically unknown. Anthropologists are engaged in the study of the evolution of man, including the study of present-day man. Anthropologists want to learn how man survived through the ages and his ability to conform to the stresses of life in this modern age. They journey to all parts of the world in order to study man. They study the people at work and at play, learn about the language and listen to stories that people tell, including songs, and watch their dances an festivals.

Physical anthropology is a study of how men look like, the color of their skins, their height and weight and body structure, as well as the shapes of their heads, noses, and jaws. Anthropologists study prehistoric man, ancient man, the modern savage and civilized man.

Without anthropologists, we would never know how man evolved and the challenges that he had to confront, including the study of man's place in Nature, as well as his physical and psychological structure. We would never have known about the different tribes of men and the gradual progress of the human race.

Anthropologists have come a long way in their quest for knowledge concerning the evolution of man, and there are so much more to learn. They stay in small villages in India and dwell with the Eskimos in Alaska, and with the jungle tribes in Africa. Various kinds of tools are being discovered, providing them with new and updated knowledge and opening up fresh avenues of study that seem to be unlimited. It is in this area pf Physical Anthropology that some anhropologists are particularly interested, revealing cultures that had once existed and which served as a forerunner to the divergent cultures that exist today.

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