What's Physical Anthropology?

      We are studying various topics related to the adaptations and evolution of humans and nonhuman primates. Curiosity about the origin of ourselves is the vital force to have borne and raised the natural science. Scientific innovations in the last 50 years enabled us to obtain tremendous amount of knowledge of detailed architectures and functions within our body. Nonetheless, if one wishes to understand the nature of the human being, it is essential to know not only our current adaptations but also our evolutionary history. Excavation is the primary source of information of our ancestors and their environment. However, excavated materials are just silent bones, teeth and stones. Modern physical anthropologists utilize various methods and theories to deduce and articulate past evolutionary process from fragmentary pieces of evidence. Careful observation and fresh idea are required for physical anthropologists to extract useful information from these materials. Although the teaching staff in our lab is too much limited to cover the entire area of modern physical anthropology, we try to educate diversified students as much as possible by utilizing our research collaborative network.
      One of the main characters of our laboratory is active fieldwork of paleoanthropology, which currently extends to Kenya, Georgia and Turkey. Especially, the Kenyan Miocene project has marked various major discoveries on pages of anthropological textbooks over the last four decades. 




京都大学大学院理学研究科 自然人類学研究室