Socio-cultural anthropology is the investigation, often through long term, intensive field studies (including participant-observation methods), of the culture and social organization of a particular people: language, economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, kinship and family structure, gender relations, childrearing and socialization, religion, mythology, symbolism, etc. Linguistic anthropology seeks to understand the processes of human communications, verbal and non-verbal, variation in language across time and space, the social uses of language, and the relationship between language and culture.
It is the branch of anthropology that brings linguistic methods to bear on anthropological problems, linking the analysis of linguistic forms and processes to the interpretation of sociocultural processes.
For detailed information about how seriation works, see Seriation: A Step by Step Description.
For more information on stratigraphy and how it is used in archaeology, see the Stratigraphy glossary entry.
Linguistic anthropologists often draw on related fields including anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, semiotics, discourse analysis, and narrative analysis.
Archaeology studies the contemporary distribution and form of artifacts (materials modified by past human activities), with the intent of understanding distribution and movement of ancient populations, development of human social organization, and relationships among contemporary populations; it also contributes significantly to the work of population geneticists, historical linguists, and many historians.
Archaeology is usually regarded as a separate (but related) field outside North America, although closely related to the anthropological field of material culture, which deals with physical objects created or used within a living or past group as a means of understanding its cultural values.
Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, a team of archaeologists have developed a high-precision chronology that sheds new light on patterns leading up to ...