Student’s senior exploration takes her to Getty Villa


Destiny Rodriguez Lopez, Contributor

Anthropology has a special place in my heart. I have wanted to become an anthropologist since I was a freshman in high school. As a senior I have settled on becoming an archeological anthropologist. I took a course in social anthropology and it helped to confirm that this is the path I want to take.
Anthropology is the study of human societies, cultures and their developments with four subsections: Archeology, Biological, Society and Linguistics. All subsections are related to one another and one must understand each subsection on their own to understand the four as a whole.
In the study of archeology, human history has found a way to slowly come into the light and reveal itself. As an archeologist finds new evidence, children in history classes are taught what happened. Yet archeologists are usually not famous people. Who was the person who found Pompeii? The person who found the Temple of Zeus? No one knows. Occasionally archeologists are recognized as the person who found it. If you know who Domenico Fontana is, congrats! For those who don’t, Domenico Fontana was the architect who discovered Pompeii in 1709. A significant contribution to the Pompeii excavation happened in 1860 when an Italian archeologist named Giuseppe Fiorelli stopped haphazard digging at this site and recommended systematic digging.
All around the world there are different findings and no one knows who discovered or renewed the site or artifact to its past glory. In my case, archeology helps me find out more about Greek and Roman mythology and because I love it so much I went to Italy and Greece, and that experience helped me further understand the culture.
Biological anthropology can be classified as physical anthropology. Biological anthropology is focused on the scientific side of anthropology in which it is the scientific discipline concerned with, biological and behavioral aspects of human beings mainly in an evolutionary perspective. Biological anthropology is a mixture of social studies and biological studies. A subfield commonly known is forensic anthropology. Forensic anthropology is defined as the examination of human skeletal remains to determine the identity, interpret trauma, and estimate time since death. I bring this up because I would like to pursue this career in the future.
Social anthropology can also be considered cultural anthropology. Social anthropology is the study of human societies, cultures and their development. Social anthropologists want to know the social structures of different societies so, they go to different places to see how they interact.
Cultural anthropology for me is interesting because I have always been interested in my culture and being apart of multiple cultures is difficult at times. I was born in America, my parents were born in Mexico, as well as my grandparents, but my paternal great grandparents and ancestors before were all born in Italy. My culture has always been a part of me and as much as I have wished to understand, it is difficult to be a part of.
The fourth subsection, linguistic anthropology is the study of how language influences social life. It was made to document languages that are not known and are spoken rarely and it now includes the aspects of language structure and use. A linguistic anthropologist has to investigate how a language intertwines with the aspects of culture and society. This subsection is the one I know the least about because I haven’t studied it as much as I would like to.
I hope through anthropology I can understand cultures and societies’ similarities and differences.