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Anthropology Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode

Anthropology Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode

Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. Anthropology is the study of human diversity around the world. Anthropologists look at cross-cultural differences in social institutions, cultural beliefs, and communication styles.

Try Anthropology Interview Questions & Answers - Exam Mode

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Anthropology Interview Questions & Answers - Learning Mode
Try Anthropology Interview Questions & Answers - Exam Mode
Question: What was the life expectancy of Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, and early Homo sapiens? Is 18 to 20 years about right, with the oldest age around 40?

Answer: Your figures are about right for maximum life expectancies. Individuals in their 40s are extremely rare. Some scholars place the age of the "old man" of La Chapelle aux Saints in its mid-30s. Be aware, though that once individuals are skeletally mature (ca. 18 years) estimates of age are based on wear and tear on the skeleton, and this can vary widely among individuals based on subsistence adaptation, parasite load and other factors. Source:
Question: What is the difference between an occipital bun and a nuchal torus?

Answer: These are two different types of structures of the Skull. The Occiptial Bun found on Homo Sapien Neanderthals is an actual extension of the occiptial bone, which contained additional brain structure. While the nuchal torus is a thickening of the bone generally ranging from the parietal bones around to the occiptial to which neck muscles are attached. It does not expand the carnial vault.
Unlike the occiptial bun, the nuchal torus is not consistently present. Source:
Question: How do societies without access to text decide what are good and bad sources of information?

Answer: One such society would be the ?Kung San! - Bushmen of the Kalihari?. In this society, there are storytellers who know the history of the people (or given group). These peoples also care for their elderly after their ability to hunt ends. There are often people with injuries, blindness and other disabilities received over a long life in the bush. These elderly people often have an important role for the children not yet old enough to hunt and they impart a lot of the tribal knowledge to these you Source:
Question: Are there different types of anthropology, if so explain?

Answer: Yes, there are several "types" of Anthropology:

1) General Anthropology - the study of man

2) Forensic/Physical Anthropology - the study of human remains and the potential surroundings and cause of death

3) Migration Anthropology - which looks at the genetics of human groups and their migration around the world

4) Ethnography - the study of existing human populations

5) Archaeology - the study of past cultures based on their habitation, burial, and environmenta Source:
Question: What is the significant of the phaistos disk? Has anyone translated it?

Answer: This is a little outside my main area of expertise, but here is what I know. The disk features writing that is unique. Some of the symbols replicate ones from other Minoan (Bronze Age Cretan) script, but many of them are unique to this artifact. There are many published claims of "translations" of the disk, but no consensus among experts. (You can use Google to locate many of these, but much of what I found is "fringe scholarship", i.e., non-peer review.)

No other examples of this kind of Source:
Question: Is there ever been a society that could have eaten meat?

Answer: No such societies are known to have ever existed in the historical or archaeological record. Some societies have vegetarian castes, and many have economic classes that are vegetarians of necessity, rather than by choice. Gorillas are vegetarian, so smnivory is probably something we share in common with the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Source:
Question: What criteria would archeological information have to meet to be considered evidence of complex thought?

Answer: One of the most important pieces of evidence in the archeological record that points to complex thought is stone tools. In fact, we even associate the classification of our early ancestors to that of tool making. For example, Homo habilis means ?handy man? was chosen. Because this species is thought to is the originator of the many stone tools found at habilis sites. If these stones were indeed created by habilis, then the species had a marked advantage in terms of complex thinking. At about tha Source:
Question: In what way are the inhabitants of El Alto, Bolivia different from other people?

Answer: The city of El Alto is one of the highest cities in the world, up to 4150 meters (13,615 feet) above sea level. The main factors of El Alto are:

1. Rich ethnic culture: As of the 2001 census, the population was 649,958 and 79% of them are Aymara. This ethnic group lived in the region for many centuries before becoming a subject people of the Inca, and later of the Spanish in the 16th century. Until now, they contained many of their ethnic markers.

2. Economy: The recent growth of c Source:
Question: What type of food Neanderthal people ate and how they cooked it?

Answer: From variation in the Nitrogen and Carbon isotope composition of their bones, we know the Neanderthals at a lot of meat and fat, mainly from large terrestrial mammals that were grazers (mammoth, wooly rhino, horse), but probably also mixed feeders like aurochs (wild cattle) bison, various deer (red, roe, fallow), ibex, wild boar. They may have hunted bear, too, but probably did so by raiding hibernation dens. Recent studies from sites near Gibraltar (Spain) suggest they occasionally ate fish and Source:
Question: Why do some people have slanted eyes, while others have round ones? More importantly where can I find a reliable resource that will explain this and which I can reference in a report?

Answer: The shape of the outside area of the eye is what provides the apparent shape. All eyeballs are round and the eye socket is as well but the genetic make of peoples of the mongoloid type (mostly Asians) have a particular feature where the outer corners of the eye are slightly above the centerline, thus creating an almond shape. Source:
Question: What are Ice ages? When was the last Ice age?

Answer: Ice ages are periods when there are extensive glaciers stretching away from the North and South Pole towards the equator? Because there are more continents closer to the North Pole, the glaciers tend to be more extensive in the north. There are also glaciers that form on mountains in tropical latitudes.
For about the last 900,000 years, Ice Ages have occurred about every 110,000 years. They are separated by warm periods, called interglacial, which are of shorter duration. The last Ice age las Source:
Question: What determines the race of a child in a white and black couple? Father Black and mother white?

Answer: In such cases, the child is racially mixed. The child may have lighter skin then the black parent and may have recognizable features from the black parent as well just as we all share features and characteristics of our parents, regardless of racial mix. In the next generation, the child's children may exhibit lighter or darker skin. Source:
Question: Can you explain what evidence is utilized to support the claim that humans have evolved over time from earlier forms?

Answer: There are several sorts of evidence that point to contemporary Homo sapiens evolving from archaic ones.
Well firstly, apart from a high diversity of the hominid fossil record, there is the obvious phenotypic resemblance that humans and apes share. Between humans and the apes, there needed to be some form more progressive than apes- a sort of missing link. Modern science recognizes that our ancestor was a life form that differed from contemporary gorillas and chimps. Humans are not descended f Source:
Question: As the modern day, Greeks are the direct descendents of ancient Greek culture, such as Homers time; likewise, are the modern Egyptians the direct genetic/blood descendents of ancients Pharaohs, 2000 BC?

Answer: Both hypotheses are supported by the genetic and skeletal evidence, -bearing in mind that both regions have undergone some variable degree of immigration and genetic lineage extinction over the last 2000 or so years. People have sometimes questioned the link between ancient peoples and modern populations living in the same region because of perceived differences between what they look like "in the flesh" and artistic self-representation in the archaeological record. In considering such evidence, Source:
Question: Is it possible to describe in general terms (archetype) the race that once populated Britain and already present when the Celts arrived?

Answer: This is a difficult issue to sort out. One problem, of course, is that we have neither artistic evidence nor soft-tissue evidence for either pre-Celtic (Iron Age) or Celtic populations themselves. The second problem is that such characteristics as skin color, hair form, skull shape, stature, etc. can change rapidly among small populations. This was famously demonstrated in studies of immigrants to the USA in the early 20th Century. Therefore, it is difficult to tell if any changes we see in the Source:
Question: Which is the biggest and/or most powerful human species was in the past?

Answer: Neanderthals were very strong, but there are some fossils of earlier hominins from Europe (Homo heidelbergensis, e.g. Atapuerca) and from Africa (Homo rhodesiensis, e.g., Bodo, Kabwe) that were also very big, strong people.

It is we very gracile postglacial humans, who were divergent from our Ice Age ancestors. Source:
Question: Did the Eskimos have fire before the Europeans arrived? Did they cook food? Use for heat?

Answer: They did indeed have fire long before Europeans arrived. Earliest traces of fire in the Arctic New World date to at least 10,000 years ago and much older in the parts of Siberia from which Eskimos (who prefer to be called Inuit, actually) migrated.

They did cook food, as indicated by numerous burned bones from Arctic archaeological sites. Presumably they also used it for heat, light, anti-predator defense, as well as to smoke meat and help dry/tan leather.

The arctic is very poor i Source:
Question: When the Homo floresiensis remains were discovered on Flores in an un-fossilized state it was supposed DNA might be recoverable. Do you happen to know whether DNA was ever extracted from the remains - or if it is still intended to try to do so?

Answer: Wet tropical environments tend not to be very good ones for preserving DNA over long periods. There are also many political problems over access to and control over these fossils. Source:
Question: When did humans first use fire? Was the primary use of fire to cook food or something else?

Answer: There is possible evidence from about 1.4 Million years ago in Sterkfontein Cave in South Africa. Other than this, evidence for controlled use of fire that is distinct from naturally occurring phenomena (i.e., burnt tree stumps) does not become a regular part of the record until after around 300,000-200,000 year ago (Terra Amata and Pech de L'Az?ave, both in France). You will see references to fire use in the 300,000-700,000 BP range from Zhokoudian Cave in China, but recent studies sugges Source:
Question: Over the entire world, in which countries were people of the Negro race found to be native or indigenous?

Answer: The answer depends on how you define "Negro Race" and "native/indigenous".

If you follow the traditional definition, -people with dark skin, tightly curled hair, etc. and the definition of "indigenous" meaning likely to have originated in a particular place tens of thousands of years ago, your answer would be "all of the countries in Africa south of the Sahara as well as Sudan, Eritrea." It would also include some South Asian island-dwelling populations, like the Andamanese, for which the Source:

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Latest 20 Questions
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