What are some physical applications of anthropology?

Answer by Rune Eskesen:

Anthropology is generally known as the study of the human condition, not necessarily the human body. There are subfields in anthropology such as physical- or biological anthropology, which could be used as a basis of forensic anthropology. While I have seen no such subfield in my country, I am pretty sure that there is the States.

Most fields in anthropology such as cultural- or social anthropology works with charting many of the things that cannot be measured. Such as the role of gender in a group of people, power balance, ethnicity etc. This is obviously very different from studying fossils, or for that matter bones. While I have very little knowledge about forensic anthropology, then I am sure that you would need to find a biological subfield, which in my mind, generally involves more biology than anything else. So should you happen to cross more anthropologist, make sure you ask what school they are from, or what they specialized in. Anthropology is so cross-disciplined it almost hurts, so having someone tell you, that they are an anthropologist, could mean a thousand different things.

To answer your question, whether or not anthropology can be used in a physical sense: Yes, if you chose the correct subfield. Cultural and social anthropologist (which most anthropologist are nowadays if I am not mistaken) have very little use, in the physical sense. They can expand people’s views and explain the reasons behind many of the things we do, but being an expert witness when it comes to fossils or bones, they cannot.

But dig up some info on biological or physical anthropology, and I bet you will find something more interesting in regards to your situation.

What are some physical applications of anthropology?


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