What is paleoanthropology?

What Does paleoanthropology Mean

The paleoanthropology is the specialization of anthropology focused on the analysis of human evolution based on their fossil remains . The fossil records, therefore, are his main study material.

It is worth mentioning that paleontology is the science that is dedicated to studying fossil remains to learn about the organisms that lived in the terrestrial past. That is why paleoanthropology is also often referred to as human paleontology .
The importance of fossils is incalculable in this and other related disciplines, since they are the most important source of knowledge about life that became extinct. Not for nothing does this term appear so frequently; In its etymology we find that it arose to designate any curious object that was found underground.

The process of fossilization of organisms is also recorded and studied, since it can last for millions of years during which different changes in structure and composition take place, with different degrees of intensity. The conservation of these remains is fascinating for almost anyone, but science turns these evidences into knowledge that teaches us about our past and that of the planet in general.
The biology , the geology and archeology are other fields of knowledge that maintain a close link with paleoanthropology. His techniques allow the search, analysis and interpretation of elements of humanity's past .
Paleoanthropology generally works with bone fossils : that is, with bone pieces that have been petrified for natural reasons. Anyway, you can also research fingerprints and get very old tool information .
Given that paleoanthropology is interested in the evolution of the human being, it does not leave primates out of its study, the order of mammals to which our species belongs and which is considered the closest at the level of kinship.
Prehistory is another of the fundamental points of paleoanthropology. It is the period that elapsed since the hominins appeared (a sub-tribe of primates that distinguished themselves by being upright and using only two of their legs to move), predecessors of Homo sapiens , to the point at which the first written documents were produced of which we have evidence.
All this information that paleoanthropology takes to carry out its research must be placed in a context in which biological and geological characteristics are combined that give rise to a more precise understanding of archaeological findings . The same element can have two very different meanings depending on the time and the part of the world in which it is located, and this is accentuated when the time distance is counted in centuries or millennia.

As can be seen, paleoanthropology draws on a large number of disciplines . In addition to those mentioned so far, we see some of the rest below: biology, human paleontology, comparative morphology, theory of evolution, technology, taphonomy, typology, stratigraphy, dating, and geochronology.
As for the birth of paleoanthropology, it is usually associated with the discovery of the fossil bones of Neanderthal man in 1856 . This finding in a quarry in a German valley allowed us to learn about a hominid species different from Homo sapiens .
From then on, the study of fossil bones progressed to constitute a specific branch of anthropology. Thanks to this discipline, it is possible to learn about the origin , evolution and extinction of past living beings, in addition to knowing the relationships that they established with their environment and with each other, the way in which they were distributed on the earth's surface, their migrations and Another questions.

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