What makes anthropology a science
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“Paleanthropology examines the fundamentals of human culture. Prehistoric anthropology examines the foundations for the development of different cultures. "
Prehistoric anthropology deals with recent skeletal finds that date back to historical times and even into the early modern period. Here, too, there are collaborations with neighboring disciplines historical bio, social and cultural sciences as Climatology, soil science and Anthropogeographyall of which should contribute to the most comprehensive possible reconstruction of historical living conditions.
The objects of prehistoric anthropology include not only questions of population history, but also those of ethnogenesis, i.e. the history of origin and spread of ethnic groups, as well as the demographic reconstruction of earlier populations (Paleodemography) and the development of the burden of disease in humans in earlier times (Paleopathology). One aim of prehistoric anthropology is to investigate the extent to which changes in the environment have a differentiating effect on the populations studied, how the respective living conditions influence the biological nature of humans and how environmental changes shape humans.
The physical remains of man, which prehistoric anthropology studies, are an important source material. From them, among other things, individual biological data such as age, gender, height, diseases and special characteristics can be deduced. If these individual data are linked with one another, statements about the biological characteristics of a former population emerge. The statements on age structure, gender relations, child mortality and disease burden that can be derived from the individual data at the population level are also fundamental socio-historical data.
Recently, the inclusion of the Molecular research and its possibilities, the methodological spectrum is expanded, and the reliability of statements on individual gender determination, on the relationship between individuals and groups and the identification of diseases (e.g. tuberculosis) is significantly improved.
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