Subfields of Anthropology

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I chose to take Anthropology because it was an elective requirement for my bachelor’s degree. I hope to get a better understanding of cultural anthropology. Anthropology is the study of what makes us human. The four subfields of Anthropology are: Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, and Linguistic Anthropology.

Archaeology works to uncover materials left behind by people of the past and studies human culture by dating and analyzing these objects. Those materials consist of tools, weapons, buildings, pottery and plant and animal remains etc.

Nautical archaeology is a specialization within archaeology. Nautical archaeologists search for shipwrecks and focus on the construction, and operation of these ships. They seek to uncover the purpose for which these prehistoric and historic ships were used, the period in time these ships were used and what cargo they might have been carrying.

Physical Anthropology seeks to understand how humans adapt to different environments, what causes disease and early death, and human biological evolution revealed by fossil records. They study the living, dead, primates and fossils. Human genetics is one specialization of biological anthropology. Genetics enlightens us about the causes and transmission of the variety on which evolution depends (Window on Humanity A Concise Introduction to Anthropology, 2018).

Cultural Anthropology explores the cultural aspects of different people in different places around the world and the origins, history, and development of human culture. Ecological anthropology studies interrelations among living things in an environment and the culture of that population (Window on Humanity A Concise Introduction to Anthropology, 2018)

Linguistic Anthropology studies how humans communicate with one another throughout the world and time and how we use language in our lives. Historical linguistics studies language(s) at different points in time. Historical anthropologists study the change in language(s). For instance, William Shakespeare writes “where thou art my Romeo” or “thou wilt not”, but in modern day English his spellings of words are considered outdated. (Shakespeare, 1597) And thus we see linguistic change in these spellings.

Applied Anthropology works to recognize, understand and solve real world problems. Applied anthropology is used in museums to help interpret history or in governments agencies, and public health. Applied anthropology includes such activities as cultural resource management, which involves not only preserving sites, but also allowing their destruction if they are not significant. (Window on Humanity A Concise Introduction to Anthropology, 2018)

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Subfields of Anthropology. (2021, Mar 22). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/subfields-of-anthropology/

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