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The paleoanthropology subfield of biological anthropology uses the study of fossil remains to reconstruct the behavior and the evolution of human form from the fossils of our hominin ancestors.  I chose to explore the Paleoanthropology Society which explores and focuses on the Paleoanthropological subfield of biological anthropology. The Paleoanthropology Society was founded in 1992 and conducts research to shed light on the behavioral and biological evolution of hominids. The society brings together many types of scientists to conduct research in the above areas such as geologists, paleontologists and archeologists. Studies conducted by this society in the subfield of paleoanthropology provides us with insight into the evolution of human form and behavior by studying objects such as fossil remains.

 

Paleoanthropology studies provide humans with a better understanding of several dimensions of the prehistoric human past. The use of fossilized bones and prehistoric artifacts such as tools provide evidence supporting biological and cultural dimensions of our human ancestors. Fossilized hominin remains allow anthropologists to provide humans with answers to the questions of what the human origin is, who our hominin ancestors were, what traits we share with them, why we are the way we are and how we have come to evolve into what we are today biologically and behaviorally. Studies reconstruct how early hominins evolved biologically in terms of brain structure, dental anatomy, body size and structure in order to adapt to their environments. They can further provide us with extraneous evidence of the prehistoric past such as climates in which our ancestors lived in and how they adapted to changes in their environment. Prehistoric hominin artifacts allow anthropologists to provide further information about how our hominin ancestors lived and behaved within their prehistoric culture.

 

Paleoanthropological studies contribute significantly to the human evolution and human variability themes of anthropology. They provide a basic understanding of how we became to be in the human form and how we have come to vary biologically, culturally, behaviorally and socially throughout history. Understanding these themes are important to our human identity and our understanding of what exactly it means to be human because in order to fully grasp our human form, we need to know where it came from in the first place. We need to understand why we behave the way we do so that we can continue to evolve into even more superior human forms. We need to learn how our ancestors evolved and adapted to change in order for us to better adapt to the constant change that surrounds us in order to thrive as a species well into the future.

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