physical anthropology

noun

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

Examples of physical anthropology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Post last year examined the grisly legacy of Ales Hrdlicka, who led the physical anthropology department at the U.S. National Museum, the precursor to the Natural History Museum, for most of the first half of the 20th century. Claire Healy, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2024 Last summer, the Washington Post published an investigation into the Smithsonian’s holdings—particularly those collected under the watch of Aleš Hrdlička, the Institution’s first curator of physical anthropology. Ellen Wexler, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Feb. 2024 The group worked frequently with the museum’s physical anthropology division, whose employees used the remains for their research that included human evolution and the migration patterns and characteristics of historical communities. Claire Healy, Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2023 These are just two of the brains collected, seemingly without consent, by the Smithsonian’s first curator of its physical anthropology division, Ales Hrdlicka. Andrew Ba Tran, Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2023 The reason more Denisovans haven’t been found is likely due to scholarly bias; much more research has been conducted on Neanderthals in Europe compared to Asia, where a focus on physical anthropology has only picked up in recent years. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 30 Nov. 2021 My research is focused on trying to find a better way to estimate time since death; trying to better establish a connection to the community for anatomical gifts, skeletons preferably, because our parent field, physical anthropology, has its history; and in grave piracy. Time, 27 May 2021 The next step, says archaeologist Sandra Lösch, co-author of the paper and head of the department of physical anthropology at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Bern University, would be to look at the face-down burials to find if there are clearer links with disease outbreaks. Andrew Curry, National Geographic, 2 Sep. 2020 In the racialized physical anthropology of the early 20th amongst the colored peoples Aboriginals occupied the lowest circle of hell. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 28 Sep. 2011

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'physical anthropology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of physical anthropology was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near physical anthropology

Cite this Entry

“Physical anthropology.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/physical%20anthropology. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

physical anthropology

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

called also somatology

compare cultural anthropology
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