Anthropology ias pedia upsc world
  • Anthropology is the study of human beings and their culturesfrom prehistoric times to today.
  • The people who practice anthropology are called anthropologists.
  • Anthropology has two main divisions: physical and cultural.
    • Physical anthropologists study the physical features of humans.
    • Cultural anthropologists examine human cultures.
    • Both kinds of anthropology may include the study of prehistoric, ancient, and modern humans.

Physical Anthropology

  • Physical anthropology is related to biology.
  • Physical anthropologists examine differences in human physical features.
  • They often study human genes.
  • These are the things that pass along traits from parents to their children.
  • Some physical anthropologists compare the physical features of people from different geographic areas.
  • Others may examine what makes humans physically different from other animals, such as apes. Some
  • physical anthropologist studies the remains of prehistoric humans to learn about human origins.
  • They try to determine how and when modern humans developed from early forms of humans and from nonhuman ancestors.
  • In other words, they study human evolution.

Cultural Anthropology

  • Cultural anthropology is a social science or a field of study concerned with human societies.
  • Cultural anthropologists study many aspects of human cultures, in different places and times.
  • These may include art, language, religion, clothing, customs, and social structure.
  • They also compare the practices of various societies.
  • Archaeology is one type of cultural anthropology.
  • In the 1800s and early 1900s, most cultural anthropologists were from western Europe or the United States.
  • They usually travelled to another part of the world, such as Africa or Asia, to study different cultures.
  • Today cultural anthropologists from all around the world study a wide variety of human groups.
  • For instance, they may study small fishing villages, gangs in big cities, religious groups, or large companies.


  1. Britannica
  2. Wikipedia

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