The rise of academic physical anthropology in the United States (1880–1980): A historical overview



This paper surveys the development of physical anthropology in the period from 1880 to 1980, beginning with the founding of the U.S. Bureau of American Ethnology and the advent of professionalism in anthropology. The growth of physical anthropology within academic anthropology and the effect of the bias toward ethnology and archaeology is considered. Three historical phases are suggested: pre-1900, the pre-academic period of physical anthropology; 1900–1930, the initial development of academic physical anthropology, which witnessed the founding of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists by Hrdlička, and of Hooton's program at Harvard University; 1930-present, which has seen the full development of physical anthropology in an academic context.