anthropology

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anthropology

 [an″thro-pol´o-je]
the study of human beings and their development, including their customs and practices, that is based on an understanding of the contexts from which observations about human activities are derived. adj., adj anthropolog´ical.
applied anthropology the use of anthropological approaches and knowledge to influence human behavior or encourage change (including economic development) in the living patterns of different cultural groups.
physical anthropology the field of anthropology that focuses on human physical characteristics.
sociocultural anthropology the field of anthropology that focuses on shared patterns of behavior and on customary, agreed-upon solutions that influence behavior; it also includes the study of interactions between individuals.

an·thro·pol·o·gy

(an'thrō-pol'ō-jē),
The branch of science concerned with the origin and development of humans in all their physical, social, and cultural relationships.
[anthropo- + G. logos, treatise]

anthropology

The study of the origin of modern man.

Most of the major steps in human evolution are thought to have occurred in Africa; the human ancestor may have split around 3 million years ago from an ancestor that shared many anatomic and biochemical features with the African great apes.

Anthropology timetable, Homo sapiens 
• 100,000 BC—Homo sapiens had a 1400 cc cranial capacity (CC); at the time, the planet’s population was 2 million. The Neanderthal is thought to have lived from 250,000–30,000 BC, and may have coexisted with the tall, more gracile progenitor of modern man, the Cro-magnon. The australopithicene ape-men and/or Homo habilis were though to have evolved into H erectus, an arguably distinct species that later developed into H sapiens.
• 1,000,000 BC—Homo erectus had a 900–1100 cc CC, was the first known human ancestor to walk fully erect, used and made tools and invented fire.
▪ 2–8,000,000 BC—Man began to walk fully erect, had formed the primitive family unit of male breadwinner and female homemaker; females had developed continuous sexual availability, which was hormone-dependent rather than seasonal (i.e., estrus cycling). 
• 2,000,000 BC—Australopithecus split, one branch died; by 1,500,000 BC, the other had begun to kill for meals. Homo habilis had a 500-750 cc CC, was < 1.5 m tall, had an ape-like jaw, used tools, killed and ate raw meat, and used iron-based pigments for painting. 
• 4,000,000 BC—Australopithecus africanus, the earliest hominid from Africa, had a 450–500 cc CC, measured 1.2 m in height, had bipedal locomotion, but did not make or use tools. 
• 15,000,000 BC—Ramapithecus, the oldest hominid, with a 350 cc CC, was a vegetarian, walked on all fours with less dependence on the upper extremities, and spread from Africa to Southeast Asia; orangutans and gorillas ceased to evolve. 
• 36,000,000 BC—Dryopithecus, the hirsute, tree-climbing herbivorous ancestor of all primates, with a 200 cc CC.

an·thro·pol·o·gy

(an'thrŏ-pol'ŏ-jē)
The scientific study of human beings with respect to physical features, classification, distribution, and social and cultural relationships.
[anthropo- + G. logos, treatise]

anthropology

The science of humankind, and of human cultural differences, from the earliest times to the present. Anthropology is thus a very wide subject, concerned not simply with the less familiar human groups but with every aspect of humankind in a social context. Increasingly, anthropology overlaps the social sciences, but, at the same time, preserves a certain detachment from concern with the more utilitarian aspects of such studies, as befits one of the basic sciences. Cultural anthropology, or ethnology, is a comparative study of cultural systems and includes concern with early archeology, religion, myth, political and economic systems and language. Other branches of cultural anthropology include psychological, legal and urban anthropology. The observation, recording and analysis of anthropological data in the course of ‘field work’ is called ethnography. Physical anthropology is the study of human evolution, including recent diversification of humans. Social anthropology covers the whole field of humans in their social context.

Anthropology

The study of the origins, biological characteristics, beliefs, and social customs of human beings.
Mentioned in: Couvade Syndrome

an·thro·pol·o·gy

(an'thrŏ-pol'ŏ-jē)
Branch of science concerned with origin and development of humans in all their physical, social, and cultural relationships.
[anthropo- + G. logos, treatise]
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