What is Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of the human condition over time, and what it means to be human: how we evolved, how we multiplied to become a global species, and how we diverged into different cultural and linguistic communities. While keeping the big picture in mind as context, anthropologists specialize in evolution and human biology, the archaeological study of the past, human social and cultural variation, or the linguistic and semiotic dimension of human life. We have recently added a new specialization: in global health and medicine.

Penn Museum

Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has always been one of the world’s great archaeology and anthropology research museums, and the largest university museum in the United States. With roughly one million objects in our care, the Penn Museum encapsulates and illustrates the human story: who we are and where we came from.


Meet Our Faculty

  • Adriana Petryna

    Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Anthropology
  • Margaret Bruchac

    Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • John Jackson

    Richard Perry University Professor; Dean, School of Social Policy Practice