ArchaeologyArchaeologists have the same goal in mind as cultural anthropologists. They learn everything there is to know about a particular society. The difference is, they can’t talk to the people or ask questions. Why? They’re all dead. Archaeologists study the things they left behind and infer behavior and information from that.
Like Indiana Jones, archaeologists study artifacts. Artifacts are things like tools and pots and other implements made and used by people. Ecofacts are the remains of plants or animals that were used by or eaten by people. Archaeologists also study landscapes, and there is a particular field called Landscape Archaeology, which allows the study of the modified landscapes and the behavior put forth to alter it.
Archaeology in other fields of study
- Classics -heavily text based
- History-US has the best historical archaeologists
- Near Eastern Languages
- Asian Studies
Subfields and Disciplines
- Bioarchaeology--study of human skeletons to reconstruct physical traits, health status, diet.
- Cultural resource management (CRM)--The branch of applied archaeology aimed at preserving sites threatened by dams, highways, and other projects.
- Palynology--study of ancient plants through pollen samples.
Linguistic anthropologyLinguistic anthropology is the study of human language, which is unique among life on earth. Yes, lots of critters communicate, but none has a full blown language with the degree of structure that human language demonstrates.
As a Linguistic Anthropologist you will:
- Interviewing and elicit responses from information presented
- Use Recording and transcription
- Discourse Analysis
- Have a certain type of agenda about a topic.
- Types: Political-phrases and words with underlying meanings used by each party
- You will study under-documented Languages and extinct languages
- You will utilize field methods including:
- Participant Observation
- Living in another culture; "blending in"
SubfieldsSociolinguistics--Study of relationships between social and linguistic variation; study of language in its social context.
Physical AnthropologyPhysical Anthropology is concerned with understanding the relationship between human biology and human culture. Understanding how the human body evolved over time helps us understand how culture became possible.
- Forensic Anthropology-A specialty within physical anthropology which examines skeletons in hopes of identifying the people whose bodies they came from. Could be a single person or thousands.
- Biocultural Anthropology-Referring to the inclusion and combination (to solve a common problem) of both biological and cultural approaches—one of anthropology's hallmarks.
- Primatology-Study of Primates (apes, monkeys, lemurs) in zoos and natural settings. Reconstruct how humanity looked in the past. We share common ancestor of chimp.
- Anthropometry-Ancient ancestral changes in body parts). Measurement of human body parts and dimensions.
- Paleopathology-Study of disease and injury in skeletons from archaeological sites.
Also check out: Microevolution, Biomedical Anthropology, Evolutionary