Anthropology Explored:
The Best of Smithsonian AnthroNotes
Revised and Expanded

Anthropology Explored (book cover)

496 pages
54 b&w cartoon drawings
paper: $21.95
illustrated by Robert L. Humphrey
foreword by David W. McCurdy
designed by Kathleen Sims

AnthroNotes editors announce the publication of the Second, Revised and Expanded Edition of Anthropology Explored: The Best of Smithsonian AnthroNotes, edited by Ruth O. Selig, Marilyn R. London, and P. Ann Kaupp. Designed to appeal to the general public and useful as a supplementary reader for introductory anthropology courses, this 2nd edition has an Instructors Guide available free of charge.

Anthropology Explored is a collection of 36 essays written in a light and easy-to-read style by some of the world's leading anthropologists, who explore fundamental questions humans ask about themselves as individuals, as societies, and as a species. Conveying the field's richness and breadth, contributors trace the emergence of humans from other primates, describe archaeologists' understanding of early and more recent settlements, and explore the diversity of present and past cultures. Illustrated with amusing insightful cartoons drawn by anthropologist Robert L. Humphrey, the essays trace not only culture changes but also changes in anthropologists' perspectives during the 150-year history of the field.

The volume is divided into three major sections: Investigating our Origins and Variation, Examining Our Archaeological Past, and Exploring Our Many Cultures. Culled from the Smithsonian's award-winning serial publication AnthroNotes, the short, engaging essays include introductory abstracts and update sections, which inform readers of recent discoveries in the field as well as shed light on the process of research and discovery. The articles reflect the broad nature of anthropology and focus on single topics such as primate and human aggression, human evolution, race and ethnic identity, disease, origins of agriculture and domestication of animals, forensic anthropology and American MIAs, applied linguistics, African American archaeology, repatriation, cultural relativism and universal human rights, and body art.



The Instructors Guide is designed to help students grasp the main ideas and concepts of Anthropology Explored. The guide is organized by chapter, with each chapter having a 1-2 page summary, discussion questions, essay questions, short answer questions, and a glossary of terms taken from the chapter. The chapter summary highlights the main points of the chapter, while the questions should help instructors motivate students to discuss, analyze, and debate the issues raised in the essay. At the end of the guide, answers to the questions for five chapters (chapters 1, 7, 8, 13, 14) are provided as a model for students to use.

To obtain a printed version of the Instructors Guide, write to Anthropology Outreach Office, Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012, NHB MRC 112, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012 or email to



For examination copies or classroom adoptions, call HarperCollins at 1-800-242-7737. Anthropology Explored's ISBN # is: 588340937.




FORWARD. David W. McCurdy

THE ART OF ANTHROPOLOGY. A Note from the Artist, Robert L. Humphrey

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Ruth Osterweis Selig

INTRODUCTION. Investigating the Origins, Nature, and Cultures of Humankind. Ruth Osterweis Selig


  1. "Ape-ing" Language: Communicating with Our Closest Relatives
    Kathleen D. Gordon
    Teaching chimpanzees to communicate may shed light on the evolution of human language

  2. Are Humans Inherently Violent?
    Robert W. Sussman
    Assessing the role that learning and aggression play in chimpanzee and human society

  3. One Man's Search for Human Origins
    Ruth Osterweis Selig and Rick Potts
    A pioneering approach and theory of human evolution, with an update by Rick Potts

  4. New Research in Early Human Origins 7 to 1 Million Years Ago
    Alison S. Brooks and Rick Potts
    New evidence of variety, adaptability, and sophistication among our earliest ancestors

  5. The Emergence of Modern Humans
    Alison S. Brooks
    DNA and other studies help answer where, when, and why modern humans first appeared

  6. The Real Flintstones: Artists' Depictions of Human Ancestors
    Diane Gifford-Gonzalez
    The accuracy of artistic renderings of prehistoric human life

  7. Stories Bones Tell
    Kathleen D. Gordon
    Case studies of victim identification, diet, and human migrations reflect use of new technologies

  8. Disease in Human Evolution
    George J. Armelagos, Kathleen C. Barnes, and James Lin
    The resistance of many infections to antibiotics today is seen as the latest major health crisis in human history

  9. The Moche: An Ancient Peruvian People
    John W. Verano
    New evidence of ritual human sacrifice among the Moche of Peru, 1,200 years before the Inca

  10. America's MIAs: Forensic Anthropology in Action
    Robert W. Mann and Thomas D. Holland
    Recovering and repatriating American service members (POWs/MIAs) lost in past wars

  11. A New Way to Look at Race
    Boyce Rensberger
    People are the same in all essentials but highly diverse in a few things

  12. Race and Ethnicity
    Alison S. Brooks, Fatimah L. C. Jackson, and R. Richard Grinker
    Decoding the human genome impacts studies of variation; ethnicity helps define identity in the United States


  1. Agricultural Origins in the Ancient World
    Melinda A. Zeder
    High-speed computers help solve the mysteries of how agriculture first developed

  2. Progress? The Facts of Ancient Life
    Mark N. Cohen
    The view that ancient human nutrition declined and disease increased creates debate

  3. Ethnoarchaeology Among the Efe: African Hunter-Gatherers
    John W. Fisher Jr.
    A traditional people help archaeologists interpret ancient sites and understand globalization's impact

  4. The Vikings: Old Views and New Findings
    William W. Fitzhugh
    New archaeological evidence changing old stereotypes and misconceptions

  5. Who Got to America First? Fact and Fiction
    Stephen Williams
    Controversial evidence and lack of evidence for early contacts with the Americas

  6. Researching the First Americans: One Archaeologist's Journey
    Ruth Osterweis Selig and Dennis J. Stanford
    Searching for the first Americans, with an update by Dennis Stanford on possible Atlantic crossings

  7. The First South Americans: Archaeology at Monte Verde
    Tom D. Dillehay
    Humans living in Chile as early as 12,500 years ago, as documented at the Monte Verde site

  8. Who Were the Ancient Maya?
    Jeremy A. Sabloff
    New research changes traditional views of Maya history and accomplishments

  9. Origins of Agriculture in Eastern North America
    Ruth Osterweis Selig and Bruce D. Smith
    Discovering a new independent center of agricultural origins, with an update by the researcher profiled

  10. East Meets West: New View of Arctic Peoples
    William W. Fitzhugh
    Eskimo cultures through time, with new insights into global warming and the environment

  11. The Archaeology of African American Life
    Theresa A. Singleton
    New research directions and theoretical frameworks by a leading specialist in an increasingly important field


  1. Cultural Relativism and Universal Human Rights
    Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban
    Anthropology's core belief in cultural relativism challenged by concerns with human rights

  2. Andean Women: United We Sit
    Catherine J. Allen
    Traditional Peruvian community proves invisibility does not always mean lack of power

  3. Identity in Colonial Northern Mexico
    William L. Merrill
    The role language can play in retaining identity, in a case study from northern Mexico

  4. Whose Past Is It Anyway? Plains Indian History
    Loretta Fowler
    Understanding culture change in three related Plains Indian tribes in Wyoming, Montana, and Oklahoma

  5. Native Americans and Smithsonian Research
    JoAllyn Archambault and William C. Sturtevant
    Preserving North American Indian cultures, languages, and history

  6. The Silk Road: A Global Cultural Economy
    Richard Kurin
    Cultural traditions flourish along the Silk Road, an ancient complex of trade routes

  7. Refugees: Worldwide Displacement and International Response
    Stephen C. Lubkemann
    One of the international community's most pressing moral and ethnical dilemmas

  8. Linguistic Survival Among the Maya
    Robert M. Laughlin
    The inspiring story of bringing literacy to the descendants of the Maya in Chiapas, Mexico

  9. From Tattoo to Piercing: Body Art as Visual Language
    Enid Schildkrout and Adrienne L. Kaeppler
    Adorning the body, illustrated by various types of body art and a Polynesian case study

  10. Medicine, Law, and Education: Applied Linguistics
    P. Ann Kaupp and Roger W. Shuy
    Assisting doctors, lawyers, teachers, and the general public, with an update by applied linguist Roger Shuy

  11. The Repatriation Mandate: A Clash of World Views
    Tamara L. Bray
    Native Americans, physical anthropologists, and archaeologists view repatriation differently

  12. Museums and Repatriation: One Case Study
    William T. Billeck
    Repatriation issues and examples from the National Museum of Natural History

  13. Aging: An Anthropological Perspective
    Alison S. Brooks and Patricia Draper
    How different cultures treat aging and the aged reflects social values and customs