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[pey-lee-oh-an-thruh-pol-uh-jee or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ li oʊˌæn θrəˈpɒl ə dʒi or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/
the study of the origins and predecessors of the present human species, using fossils and other remains.
1915-20; paleo- + anthropology
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paleoanthropologist, noun
[pey-lee-oh-an-thruh-puh-loj-i-kuh l or, esp. British, pal-ee-] /ˌpeɪ li oʊˌæn θrə pəˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl or, esp. British, ˌpæl i-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paleoanthropology
  • In fact, it was among the earliest discoveries in the fledgling field of paleoanthropology.
  • It was the beginning of a revolution in paleoanthropology.
  • paleoanthropology in part plays to that inquisitive, exploratory part of our makeup.
  • Come to hear what's new at the cutting edge of paleoanthropology.
paleoanthropology in Science
The scientific study of extinct members of the genus Homo sapiens by means of their fossil remains.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for paleoanthropology


interdisciplinary branch of anthropology concerned with the origins and development of early humans. Fossils are assessed by the techniques of physical anthropology, comparative anatomy, and the theory of evolution. Artifacts, such as bone and stone tools, are identified and their significance for the physical and mental development of early humans interpreted by the techniques of archaeology and ethnology. Dating of fossils by geologic strata, chemical tests, or radioactive-decay rates requires knowledge of the physical sciences

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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