Relationship between Anthropology and Earth Science

Relationship between Anthropology and Earth Science

In recent ages, Anthropology has gained popularity not merely as a subject but as a guidebook to adopt the survival tactics in the time of environmental degradation that influences natural calamities. Anthropology covers a wide range of diversity from human and natural evolution to developing civilization. Many subjects are intimately connected with Anthropology, earth science is one of them.

Earth science mainly consists of Geography and Geology. Here we will discuss, how geography and geology have a close relation with anthropology and will discuss if they have differences.

Let’s discuss the relationship between Anthropology and Earth Science.

Relationship between Anthropology and Earth Science

Earth Science is concerned about the solids, water, air, weather, rocks, and other elements in our atmosphere. As earth science covers a wide range of subjects, topics, and issues, it has been divided into a couple of subjects. Branches of earth science inlcude Hydrology, Atmospheric science, Pedology, etc. If we consider two main branches of earth science they are: Geography and Geology, they cover almost all topics that can be included in earth science.

1. Relationship between Anthropology and Geography

  • Anthropology is the study of human evolution over the year. Geography is the studies of the physical structure of the earth, climatic change, latitude and longitude, culture at the different part of the earth, ecology etc.
  • In the development and evolution of human being natural elements like weather, climate, soil, temperature, etc have direct effect on human beings and details about these environmental elements are discussed in Geography. So, we can say Geography and Anthropology are closely connected.

Let’s go into more discussion on the relationship between Anthropology and Earth Science.

2. Relationship of Geography with socio-cultural Anthropology

  • In Anthropology a popular concept is “cultural ecology“- this theory explains that culture and environment don’t possess different spheres but are reciprocally connected. This is one of the important theory of Julian Steward – a popular American Anthropologist.
  • Julian Steward introduced two terms, 1. Cultural Core and 2. Superstructure. Some aspects of culture are directly related to the environment, this forms “cultural core“.
  • The other aspects of culture that are relatively less connected with the environment are called Superstructure. The cultural core represents that there is a deep relation between human (culture) and the environment.

3. Relationship of Geography with physical Anthropology

  • Geography explains how physical structure affects the climate of a region. On the other hand, Physical Anthropology is concerned about the change of human structure, habits, culture, i.e evolution depending on climate and physical structure of earth crust.
  • In human geography existence of different race throughout the world and their behaviour are discussed, and in physical anthropology, race plays an important role as the culture and behaviour of different race is different.

4. Relationship of Archaeological Anthropology with Geography

  • Archaeologist uses the various scientific technique to find links among excavated materials, how ancient people used them, what were the need of those archaic materials, and how the intelligence of human developed over time.
  • The main theme of Anthropology is to study human evolution, thus archaeology and physical anthropology are the two sides of a coin.

Relationship between anthropology and Geology


Geology is the science, that deals with the physical structure of the earth, the substances on it, the history of them, and the process which are continuously acting on them. As human lives on the earth crust, human is affected by the physical structure of the earth.
1. Geology is the study of rocks in sedimentary rocks fossils are found, and fossils are one of the most important substances in studying human evolution. So geological studies can be used in physical anthropology to find a pattern in human development.

2. Pleistocene geology deals with the habitation of humans in different places and changes of place in climatic conditions. Migration and habitation are one of the major topics of Anthropology.

1. Relationship of Geology with Socio-cultural Anthropology

  1. Varna system, that is, classification of people based on varnas like Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra. In geology also, these classifications are discussed. We can say, varna system claim a common zone between geology and anthropology.

Wrapping up

Here we have discussed the relationship between Anthropology and Earth Science and the relation of anthropology with some other subjects. Finally, we can say that Anthropology is a vast subject so it occupies fields of different science and humanities. Some subject contributes more to anthropology and some less. The outcome of a topic for all subjects is the same but the methodologies are different. So we can surely say that without earth science Anthropology is incomplete to some extent.

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