Anthropology

Anthropology in its broadest sense is the study of what it is to be human. Anthropology differs from all other disciplines that study human beings because it is holistic, historic, global and comparative. Anthropologists study the cultures, social organization, languages, and environmental relationships of societies and populations around the globe, and their physical and genetic diversity. Anthropology also examines the evidence gained through archaeology to learn about peoples of the past, and our primate relatives to help understand both our human uniqueness and our similarity with other primates.

Anthropology at AU advocates a four-field approach: archaeology, biological anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Our faculty strengths and the majority of course offerings currently lie in the first three of these sub-disciplines; however, we also offer an introductory course in linguistic anthropology. Archaeologists are interested in reconstructing the lifeways of ancient peoples through documentation and analysis of the material remains left behind. Biological anthropology focuses on our biological diversity and evolution. Sociocultural anthropology explores and explains the social and cultural diversity of the present and the recent past. Finally, linguistic anthropologists study the history, structure and function of language.

Updated December 21 2015 by Student & Academic Services