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Definition of Paleoanthropology

What is Paleoanthropology?

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Sculptor's Rendering of the Hominid Australopithecus afarensis

Sculptor's Rendering of the Hominid Australopithecus afarensis

Dave Einsel / Getty Images
Paleoanthropology is the study of our immediate human ancestors. Here are some other definitions.—Kris Hirst

Definition of Paleonanthropology

The study of the prehistoric human past is called “paleoanthropology.” Anthropology itself refers to the study of human beings. Paleoanthropology is the study of human ancestors in the distant past. Since we cannot travel back in time to observe these ancestors, scientists must use other kinds of evidence to understand what happened. University of California at Berkeley

"Paleoanthropology" is more than a speciality within anthropology, or biology. It is an integrated study involving methods and insights from many fields. John Hawks

More Definitions

This feature is part of the About.com Guide to Field Definitions of Archaeology and Related Disciplines.

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