Anthropology refers to the study of human beings, also known as the wise primate. The focus of this field is about studying human history, biology, language, geographical spread across the planet, society, and culture. Various methods have come up in the development of anthropology that help pursue the subject. There is an examination of the variations in the histories, biologies, languages, and socio-cultural customs of different types of peoples in anthropology. Here we shall focus on the historical development of anthropology.
The historical development of anthropology can be traced back to before the middle of the 19th century. This was due to a series of innovations in North America and Europe. At the end of the 18th century, the last phase of the great world discovery had begun.
During this time, there were several revolutions in the world of politics and intellectual nature. These revolutions facilitated the questioning of several customary and religious beliefs and dogmas. This opened the pathway to an intellectual discussion of previously forbidden subjects.
There was a revival of interest in the study of the origin of man during this period. There were also discussions on the human species’ unity or plurality. Many intellectuals also began searching for the mutability of animal species.
The development of anthropology science took place as an outgrowth of contemporary studies. These studies were regarding the following factors:
- The classification of human races
- The comparative characteristics of human anatomy
- The history of human settlements
- The comparison between primitive and ancient cultures
- The classification of languages
- The historical development of economy
- The comparison of grammar
The concept of Evolutionism states that all living species, including humans, have evolved over several years on earth. Evolutionism began to determine the development of anthropology by the end of the 19th century.
This concept helped in determining the complex new science. Classifying different societies and cultures was a major task of cultural anthropology. This was accomplished with the advent of the concept of evolutionism.
The phases and stages through which every group of humans goes through were determined with the evolutionism concept. This significantly helped in the development of anthropology.
By the beginning of the 20th century, further advancements took place in the development of anthropology. This helped the science of Anthropology to take its final shape. The main highlight of this period was turning towards a more pluralistic viewpoint.
To account for the variety of societies and cultures and all the differences between them, the suggestion of anthropologists was to take the total human group circumstance. This was done by considering history as a whole. So, the various contacts that a particular human group had with other groups throughout history were also focused on now. Also, the circumstances of a particular group that affected its development were studied, whether favourable or unfavourable.
There has been an emergence of newer and better technologies. Furthermore, there has also been an emergence of various study fields that allow anthropologists in the contemporary era to analyse much more complex information regarding societies and cultures.
Archaeologists in the current era now make use of CT scanners. These scanners facilitate a combination of a series of X-ray views that have been prepared from different angles. Finally, with the help of CT scanners, they can produce cross-sectional images of small tissues and bones of the remains.
The use of CT scans now takes place on ancient Egyptian mummies. This lets anthropologists know about mortality, health, and disease patterns in ancient Egypt. The results of these technologies are much more accurate than those of the historical development of the anthropology phase.
Anthropology is the study of human beings, also known as the wise primate. Factors like human history, biology, language, and geography spread across the planet, society, and culture are emphasised the most under this field. The middle of the 19th century is when modern anthropology began developing. Study this section well and the impact of evolutionism on anthropology which began almost to the end of the 19th century. You also study the various 20th-century trends in the development of anthropology. Finally, take a look at anthropology today and see how it differs from the historical trends.