Human beings and Anthropology

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Human beings hold various perceptions about anthropology, nevertheless; anthropology is quintessential in our lives as it defines whom we are, primarily based on where we got here from. Through anthropology, we can determine why some species and cultures evolved, some diverging, others converging. Archaeology, a fundamental department of anthropology has enabled us to excavate and learn about artifacts and different physical remains of the early man and other organisms in an strive to classify them to precise taxonomic tribes (hominin) or businesses of primates. There are, however, numerous challenges accompanying the classification of hominin to their respective taxonomic groups. These problems are primarily based on the anatomy, geographical characteristics, definition of the species and components of the fossil located as mentioned below in details.
Anatomy is the scientific study of internal body structures in human, animals and other organisms. It is through the study of these internal structures that we can classy living things into their respective classes (Simpson, 2010). Anatomy as a method applied in fossil classification accompanies itself with many shortcomings. To begin with, a species anatomical structure may be altered through abnormalities such as mutation resulting in the formation of body structures that are entirely different from those of its species. Alternatively, some of the anatomical structures such as bones may be lacking due to poor fossilization resulting to decay and decomposition. These missing links and alteration make it difficult for the archaeologist to classify these species as belonging to a particular hominin species.
Geographical characteristic is another aspect that poses a significant challenge into determining the taxonomic group to which a primate belongs. Proper fossilization depends greatly on the geographical feature of an area. Areas dominated with earthquakes may destroy the order of fossils buried deep inside the earth. Further destruction may result from earth movements such as drifting or folding. Climate change, on the other hand, may bring about chemical reactions catalyzed by increased or reduced temperature. These reactions may result in decaying of parts or the whole fossil rendering it useless to the archaeologists. Weathering and deposition of materials such as soils, sand, and rocks may apply pressure on the buried fossils distorting their shapes.
Evolutionally theory focuses on the idea of natural selection that brought about segregation of organisms into different species exhibiting distinct characteristics. According to (Berlin, Breedlove & Raven, 2013), the formal rules that are currently followed in the naming of species, every species must have a set of specimen onto which a name of a newly discovered specimen is based (type specimen). It is stated that a fossil belongs to the same species only if it belongs to the species as that of type spacemen. In controversial species such as Homo habilis, scientists often come to disagreements onto which specimen should be identified as belonging to habilis and which one do not.
Parts of the skeleton recovered may either offer detailed information on which taxonomic group a hominid belong or it may be of no use at all. A whole limb or an entire skull structure, for instance, can provide helpful information. Its size, number of bones and shape can provide relevant information to enable classification of the organism into belonging to a particular taxonomic group. A mare wrist joint bone or a piece of a skull may make it difficult to identify the type of the animal, leave alone classifying it to belong to a particular species without the inclusion of complex scientific procedures.
Some of the identified challenges in classifying species are way too far from human control. Geographical, anatomical and parts of the skeleton found are just but a few examples of these difficulties. Archaeological scientists need therefore to equip themselves with latest technologies and do more research on improving these technologies to help them better, ease, and perfect their tasks.

Berlin, B., Breedlove, D. E., & Raven, P. H. (2013). General Principles of Classification and Nomenclature in Folk Biology. American Anthropologist, 75(1), 214-242.
Simpson, G. G. (2010). Anatomy and morphology: classification and evolution: 1859 and 1959.Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 103(2), 286-306.

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