Physical Anthropology

Physical anthropology, also known as biological anthropology, is the study of the biology of humans and non-human primates from an evolutionary and contemporary perspective. Emphasis is placed on the natural history of the genus Homo, adaptations, and human variation. In particular, physical anthropologists examine the interaction of biology and culture to understand and compare the relationships of humans with their environment and each other. Areas of expertise may include paleoanthropology (the study of early humans and their ancestors), bioarchaeology (the study of human remains, mummified and skeletal, from archaeological contexts to understand their health, culture, and environment), primatology (primate studies), and forensic anthropology (the application of physical anthropology and human osteology in a legal setting). Physical anthropologists may also apply methods and theories of their subject within the context of medical anthropology (the study of biocultural adaptations, health and disease, and healthcare systems).


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