Anthropology is the study of human society, cultures and their development over time. In a broad sense, anthropology is divided into major branches ;
1. Sociocultural Anthropology 2. Biological Anthropology 3. Archaeological Anthropology 4. Physical Anthropology
History is the chronology of events based on historical pieces of evidence in some case based on assumption. History gives details about the past and even the development from the past to modern times.
On the other hand, Anthropology deals with human culture, physiological and institutional development from ancient times to the present. So there are many similarities and even many dissimilarities between anthropology and history.
Here we will discuss the relationship between anthropology and history.
Relationship between Anthropology and History
Relation of Socio-cultural anthropology with history
Ancient historians mainly focused on political gains, construction, destruction, bravery/ cowardness of emperors but in recent time, the face of history changes drastically. Now it discusses political development, social, cultural, economic, racial history and their development. Socio-cultural anthropology mainly the study of human social and cultural history and development.
Evans Pritchard, a British anthropologist said ” Socio-cultural anthropology is historiography to a great extent.”
Diachronic theory and socio-cultural anthropology stressed evolutionism and Diffutionism; it says society and culture are related to history.
Relation between biological anthropology and history
Biology deals with the origin, gene, parental and genetic structure, syndrome, evolution etc.
In historical work, various dating method exposed the genetic, physical development and evolution of primates to modern human.
So, a major part of biological anthropology relates to historical findings.
Relation between History and Archaeological Anthropology
Historians connected events of prehistory based on archaeological findings, like, fossils, tools and equipment, human body parts, destruction etc. Those findings are directly related to archaeological anthropology. But, anthropology focus on holistic development. Thus the methodology of findings and developing theory for both subjects is different.
Major Differences between Anthropology and history
- History has been developed based on primary as well as secondary sources but anthropology totally based on fieldwork and relied on time tested participant observation.
- The main findings of anthropology are social, cultural, biological evolution on the other hand history dealt with the king, kinship, nepotism, achievement of emperors, political, economic and historical development and destruction and casteism etc.
- History in some context is debatable, as all the details of prehistoric time are still available and based on assumption. But anthropology is based on solid evidence-based fact.
- History focuses on chronology, but anthropology focuses on proved results.
- Anthropology studies the physical as well as the social aspect. But history has an interest in the physical aspect.