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What is Anthropology?

Simply put, anthropology is the study of humanity—but what does it mean to be human?

A Glimpse of the Past…

By studying humans holistically—combining science with humanities, biology with culture, history with prehistory and primates with language — we strive to answer the questions “Where did we come from?” “How did we live?” “Why did that civilization fail?”

A Peek at the Future…

Anthropology trains students to think critically, write clearly and speak thoughtfully about what it means to be human. By focusing on the complex linkages among the three subfields of anthropology- cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology - and by emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork, anthropology prepares students to survive in an increasingly multidisciplinary and multicultural world. Anthropology as a discipline is more relevant today than at any time in its distinguished history.

Graduate students enhance their learning of the musculoskeletal system by dissecting nonhuman primate cadavers. Trapezoidal beaded panel, probably from a cradleboard, Plains Indian (Lakota), ca. 1875-1900.  Kent State University Museum collections, 1983.1.892b A young boy, Pai Niu, plays “bamboo drums” at a religious festival on Taumako in 2007.


Kent State University provides training in three subfields of Anthropology:

Cultural Anthropology
Sailing a traditional voyaging canoe on Taumako’s reef in 2007.

Archaeology Forensic archaeology field class “crime scene excavation” of a pig carcass, simulating a murder victim: dressed up in clothing and shot multiple times with a .45 cal pistol, then buried.
Biological Anthropology
Crystallography image