Anthropologists trace the origin and evolutionary development of the human race through the study of changing physical characteristics and cultural and social institutions. Anthropological data, including that acquired by archeological techniques, may be applied to solving problems in human relations such as race and ethnic relations and education. People have always been interested in their past history. Although anthropology dates back to Aristotle, it is a commonly accepted fact that it became an established science during the Victorian era or the era of exploration. Anthropology has developed slowly since then with little real development until the 1930’s when the use of applied anthropological research began to be stresssed by a number of various governments. Prior to the 19th century, anthropologists relied primarily on facts gathered from travelers’ reports and documents received from other nonprofessional observers. During the early years of this century Scandinavian archaeologists developed a new approach to artifacts.
C.J. Thomsen classified the material on the basis of three successive technological ages of stone, bronze, and iron. Then by the 20th century, much stress has been placed on actual exploration by trained anthropologists. Anthropologists constitute the smallest group of social scientists, yet they cover teh widest range of subject matter. Cultural anthropology, the area in which the greatest number of anthropologists specialize, deals with human behavior, both past and present, as well as the beliefs people hold in relation to religion, language, and many other areas. To study this effectively, cultural anthropologists often work with smaller, less complex, and perhaps more easily understood societies including teh tribal societis of Asia. Physical anthropologists are concerned primarily with the biology of human groups.
They study the differences between the members of past and present human societies and are particularly interested in the geographical distribution of human physical characteristics. Bibliography Cover, Lois. Anthropology For Our Times. New York: Oxford Book Company, 1971. Hopke, William.
The Encyclopedia of Careers. Illinois: J.G. Ferguson Publishing Company, 1984. Grolier Encyclopedia. Computer software. Grolier Electronic Publications, Inc., 1993.
IBM, 128k, CD-ROM.