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AskAnthropology: answers from the science of humanity

41,060 subscribers a community for 5 years, 7 months

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Have you ever wanted to know why humans have been so successful as a species? How societies function without governments, laws, or money? What life was like ten thousand years ago? This is the place to ask!


  1. Posts must be questions about anthropology.
  2. Top level comments must be informed, in-depth answers to the question.
  3. Cite your sources.
  4. Be nice.
  5. No dinosaurs!

Racism, "race realism" and "human biodiversity" are not science and will not be tolerated in this subreddit.

What is anthropology?

Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity as a whole: our nature and our culture, our past and our present.

Biological anthropology

Biological anthropology is the study of human evolution and physical diversity. It encompasses palaeoanthropology (the study of human fossils), primatology (the study of nonhuman primates), human population genetics and forensic anthropology.

Sociocultural anthropology

Sociocultural anthropology is the study of human cultural diversity. It originated in written accounts of non-European cultures in exotic locales (ethnography), but today sociocultural anthropologists use the ethnographic method to document and study societies all around the world.

Linguistic anthropology

Linguistic anthropology is the study of how language shapes cultural life. Linguistic anthropologists document language as it is spoken rather than approaching it as static and set. They also study language acquisition, body language, the symbolism of language, and language as performance.


Archaeology is the study of past peoples through the things they left behind. It is our main source of evidence about human societies before the existence of written records (prehistory), but can be used to study any period from the emergence of our species to the present day.



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