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Department of Anthropology


Photo by Ken Rahaim


researchers at CT scanner

Smithsonian Institution Bio-Imaging Research (SIBIR) Center
tomographic imaging and analysis of SI collections and beyond.


PNG community project with Joshua Bell

Recovering Voices
brings together communities, individuals, and academics to document and revitalize endangered languages and knowledge from around the world.


Book cover: Living our Cultures
Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska
is an exhibition catalog with essays and photography that provide an in-depth view of Alaska Native cultural heritage.


Marshall Collection
web exhibition:
A Million Feet of Film / A Lifetime of Friendship: the John Marshall Ju/'hoan Bushman Fim and Video Collection 1950-2000


JamesFort Boy

recent exhibit:
Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake is an exploration of what forensic scientists can learn about a person’s age, ancestry, sex, and cause of death by examining their bones.
Dept of Anthro
Department of Anthropology Staff, 1904, Smithsonian Institution Archives, NAA-42012

Anthropology is the study of humans and their societies in the past and present.

The research conducted by the Department of Anthropology staff covers a wide range of topics and areas of the world. Topics include human-environmental interactions, population migration, origins of domestication, linguistics, and forensic anthropology, among many others.

The collections of the Department of Anthropology are a vast and unparalleled resource for inquiry into the world's cultures, from prehistory to the present day.


Department of Anthropology Staff, 2007
Photo by Chip Clark



19th Century Explorers and Anthropologists: Developing the Earliest Anthropology Collections for the Smithsonian
Six Smithsonian anthropologists relate the fascinating stories of how the Smithsonian came into possession of important, early collections from around the world and their value for research and local communities to this day.

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