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Basic Information

Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, especially of human cultures.

A related field is Archaeology, the study of humans via the lens of the physical objects they left behind.

See Also:

Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Zoophilia
Human Terrain Team
Human Terrain Team Helps Soldiers In Iraq Understand


Wikipedia entry

Game and Story Use

  • Anthropologists are in a good position to discover truly aberrant behavior in isolated locales, such as evil cults.
  • They are also likely to have good knowledge of many different countries, their cultures, and their languages, making anthropologists useful player characters in globetrotting campaigns.
  • For the subversive or otherwise wry GM, it's worth noting that anthropology has often lacked self awareness in the past and resulted in being a study of "interesting things that foreign people do" … again, modern practitioners are more likely to look for similarities across cultures, but like all science, that too can backfire if the wrong agenda is involved.
  • Probably a subsidiary skill for a variety of characters whether historians, linguists or just travellers - even (perhaps especially) if they've never been anywhere near a university a character who knows the customs, taboos and general folkways of other cultures should have anthropology or some related skill. GMs may need an additional gloss on it for the informal learner - even if they can't explain the socio-cultural memetics of rural Burma they might well be easily able to spot that this particular isolated tribe have very little in common with the locals they are used to and can point out some salient differences and/or recall local legends they have picked up from more normal Burmans.
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