physical anthropology

noun

Definition of physical anthropology

: anthropology concerned with the comparative study of human evolution, variation, and classification especially through measurement and observation — compare cultural anthropology

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Other Words from physical anthropology

physical anthropologist noun

Examples of physical anthropology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the strangest irony, the methods used to identify the criminal were essentially versions of the physical anthropology that Mengele had been trained in. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Revisiting Mengele’s Malignant “Race Science”," 15 June 2020 The era’s systematic forays into physical anthropology and human classification laid the foundation for the noxious race science that emerged in the nineteenth century. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The New York Review of Books, "Dialectics of Enlightenment," 9 May 2019 The era’s systematic forays into physical anthropology and human classification laid the foundation for the noxious race science that emerged in the nineteenth century. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The New York Review of Books, "Dialectics of Enlightenment," 9 May 2019 Bruwelheide and her colleague, Doug Owsley, curator and the museum’s division head for physical anthropology, were tasked at the request of Kennicott’s family and the museum, with finding out how Kennicott died in 1866. Allison Keyes, Smithsonian, "Two Smithsonian Scientists Retrace the Mysterious Circumstances of an 1866 Death and Change History," 8 Mar. 2017 The bones and funerary objects were originally collected from the area in 1931 by Aleš Hrdlička, head of the physical anthropology department at what is now the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "In Emotional Homecoming, Smithsonian Repatriates 24 Sets of Human Remains," 1 Nov. 2017 Samantha Cox, consulting scholar of physical anthropology, was present in May when the remains were exhumed from an unmarked grave site in Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Delaware County. Tommy Rowan, Philly.com, "Penn Museum anthropologist explains excavation of H.H. Holmes' grave," 7 Sep. 2017 If a movie were ever made about the life of the young swashbuckling scientist, the consensus around the physical anthropology department at the museum is that the moody and intense actor, Johnny Depp, should play his character. Allison Keyes, Smithsonian, "Two Smithsonian Scientists Retrace the Mysterious Circumstances of an 1866 Death and Change History," 8 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'physical anthropology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of physical anthropology

1841, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of physical anthropology was in 1841

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Cite this Entry

“Physical anthropology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physical%20anthropology. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for physical anthropology

physical anthropology

noun

Medical Definition of physical anthropology

: anthropology concerned with the comparative study of human evolution, variation, and classification especially through measurement and observation

called also somatology

— compare cultural anthropology

Comments on physical anthropology

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