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Rhonda L. Quinn

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 40: Geology and Anthropology

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Geology and Anthropology
Geology and anthropology

Geology plays a key role in the study of humans, particularly in the subdisciplines of paleoanthropology and archaeology. Anthropologists work closely with geologists and employ geological tools in order to reconstruct aspects of past environmental and ecological contexts from the time of our earliest human ancestors to that of modern peoples.

Extrinsic selective pressures, or those that are derived from a human's surrounding environment, are revealed through the study of the earth sciences. Anthropologists place the human individual, community, and population back into the environment and attempt to understand how humans interacted with that environment. From the origins of hominins, humans’ bipedal ancestors, to the ascendancy of modern peoples, anthropologists want to know about temperature, aridity and rainfall, landforms, hydrology, and ...

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