According to the American Anthropological Association, "Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences. A central concern of anthropologists is the application of knowledge to the solution of human problems."
American anthropology is generally divided into four subfields: Sociocultural anthropology; biological (or physical) anthropology; archaeology; and linguistic anthropology.
When anthropologists address complex issues, such as human origins or globalization, they keep in mind what they know about biology, culture, types of communication, and how humans lived in the past.
Images from Center for a Public Anthropology gallery