Anthropology Exit Exam
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is a conglomerate of subfields that focuses around the general study of humans. To a true scholar to the field of anthropology, anthropology is not just another field offered in an education program such as biology, and mathematics. Anthropology is a mindset, and a toolbox for understanding, and classifying every aspect of human interaction of the past, present and future. The mindset of an anthropologist is a unique personal feature, but each mindset shares common themes, this mindset is witnessed on page 75 of Wade Davis’ book The Serpent and the Rainbow.
“Yet images alone cannot begin to express the cohesion of present society, like a psychic education, must come in symbols, in invisible tones sense and felt as much as observed”
Being an anthropologist does not give a person super human senses such hearing capacity to hear invisible tones, yet what it does is allow every anthropologist to capture and the ability to take all the senses seen in human activity, and break them down so that meaning can be attached to them so that they can be understood.
When it comes to the educational tool box of an anthropologist, the most important characteristic is its holistic nature of unifying the subfields of anthropology; cultural, biological, linguistics, and archaeology. The holistic nature of the tool box can be represented by a revolving lens that an anthropologist uses to get a multi-perspective on the area of study, from page 402 of David Anthony book entitled The Horse The Wheel and Language.
“The RV (Rig Veda) and the AV (Avesta) agreed that the essence of their shared parental Indo-Iranian identity was linguistic and ritual, not racial.”
In this one sentence, all four of the subfields of anthropology can be witnessed to; linguistic and cultural anthropology with the use of religious text; RV and AV, which belong to a living Hindu culture. Archaeology, these religious texts, ritual items and anything else belonging to the Indo-Iranian identity once belonged to a past group of people, and only through archaeology were these materials recovered and preserved. A biological anthropology prospective was introduced with the use of the term “racial” and these people who make up the Indo-Iranian identity did not base at that period of time their identity on their skin color.
Subfield of Anthropology: Archaeology
Born out of two great rebirths of knowledge; the Renaissance of the 1500s, and the end of the Second World War of 1940’s, Archaeology is an extensive study of past cultures through the collection and examination of material objects pertaining to that particular culture, that covers a time period from the early human ancestors of the Mesozoic era to the modern garbage heaps of today. Archaeology can be broken down in to two categories prehistory and historical, the divide between the two categories is the introduction of writing and text documents around 3100...