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A Companion to Biological Anthropology

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8900-2
608 pages
April 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Biological Anthropology (1405189002) cover image
An extensive overview of the rapidly growing field of biological anthropology; chapters are written by leading scholars who have themselves played a major role in shaping the direction and scope of the discipline.
  • Extensive overview of the rapidly growing field of biological anthropology
  • Larsen has created a who’s who of biological anthropology,   with contributions from the leading authorities in the field
  • Contributing authors have played a major role in shaping the direction and scope of the topics they write about
  • Offers discussions of current issues, controversies, and future directions within the area
  • Presents coverage of the many recent innovations and discoveries that are transforming the subject
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List of Illustrations.

List of Tables.

Notes on Contributors.



Part I History.

1 History of Biological Anthropology (Michael A. Little and Robert W. Sussman).

Part II The Present and the Living.

2 Evolution: What It Means and How We Know (Kenneth M. Weiss and Anne V. Buchanan).

3 Systematics, Taxonomy, and Phylogenetics: Ordering Life, Past and Present (Bernard A. Wood).

4 The Study of Human Population Genetics (John H. Relethford).

5 Human Molecular Genetics: The DNA Revolution and Variation (Dennis H. O'Rourke).

6 Deconstructing Race: Racial Thinking, Geographic Variation, and Implications for Biological Anthropology (Rachel Caspari).

7 Growth, Development, Senescence, and Aging: A Life History Perspective (Douglas E. Crews and Barry Bogin).

8 Climate-Related Morphological Variation and Physiological Adaptations in Homo sapiens (Gary D. James).

9 Emerging Themes in Anthropology and Epidemiology: Geographic Spread, Evolving Pathogens, and Syndemics (Lisa Sattenspiel and D. Ann Herring).

10 Demographic Estimation: Indirect Techniques for Anthropological Populations (Timothy B. Gage).

11 Nutrition, Health, and Function (Darna L. Dufour).

12 Ongoing Evolution in Humans (Lorena Madrigal and Jessica Willoughby).

13 Primates Defined (W. Scott McGraw).

14 Primate Behavior and Sociality (Karen B. Strier).

15 Evolution of the Brain, Cognition, and Speech (Dean Falk).

Part III The Past and the Dead.

16 Primate Origins: The Early Cenozoic Fossil Record (Gregg F. Gunnell and Mary T. Silcox).

17 Catarrhine Cousins: The Origin and Evolution of Monkeys and Apes of the Old World (David R. Begun).

18 The Earliest Hominins (Scott W. Simpson).

19 Origins, Evolution, and Dispersal of Early Members of the Genus Homo (G. Philip Rightmire).

20 Species, Populations, and Assimilation in Later Human Evolution (Fred H. Smith).

21 Bioarchaeology: Health, Lifestyle, and Society in Recent Human Evolution (Clark Spencer Larsen and Phillip L. Walker).

22 Paleopathology: A Contemporary Perspective (Jane E. Buikstra).

23 Issues in Forensic Anthropology (Douglas H. Ubelaker).

24 Paleogenetics: Ancient DNA in Anthropology (Frederika A. Kaestle).

Part IV The Living and the Dead.

25 Diet Reconstruction and Ecology Using Stable Isotope Ratios (Margaret J. Schoeninger).

26 Current Concepts in Bone Biology (James H. Gosman and Samuel D. Stout).

27 'Growing Planes': Incremental Growth Layers in the Dental Enamel of Human Ancestors (Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg).

28 Understanding Skull Function from a Mechanobiological Perspective (David J. Daegling).

29 Tooth Form and Function in Biological Anthropology (Peter S. Ungar and Peter W. Lucas).

30 Locomotor Function across Primates (Including Humans) (Daniel L. Gebo).

Part V Science and Education.

31 Science Education and Physical Anthropology (Martin K. Nickels).


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Clark Spencer Larsen is Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at The Ohio State University. He has served as president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. He is the author or editor of more than 25 books and monographs, including Advances in Dental Anthropology (with Marc A. Kelley, 1991), Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Behavior from the Human Skeleton (1997), Skeletons in Our Closet: Revealing Our Past through Bioarchaeology (2002), and Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology (2008).
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“Even with so many topics of biological anthropology discussed, due care is given in each section by the authors to include enough information to give an adequate foundation and then expand upon it in subsequent sections. I would highly recommend this book – there is something in it for everyone. I was pleased to come away from it having learnt something myself.”  (Primate Eye, 1 February 2012)

"For those of us who teach introduction to physical (or biological) anthropology on a regular basis, the book provides an efficient avenue to catch up on diverse topics in the field." (American Journal of Human Biology, 2011)

"Recommended. Upper-divisions undergraduates and above." (Choice , 1 April 2011)

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