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Learn Physical Anthropology: Free Online Courses

A human hand and an ape hand with a blue strand of DNA.

Are you bored with staying at home due to COVID? Are you interested in learning more about Physical Anthropology? Check out this blog post for information on some FREE online courses related to Physical Anthropology. And don’t miss the next few blog posts, where I will share some online courses related to other Anthropology topics! And if you missed it, check out my previous post on free online courses in Archaeology.

Please note: All of the websites that host these online courses will ask you to pay for extra features, but the courses themselves are free.

#1: Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology

In this course, you will learn about port-mortem changes to the body, techniques to identify skeletal remains. You’ll also learn about some case studies. Please note: the start date of this course has not been announced yet, but you can set up an email notification to let you know when registration starts.

#2: Written in Bone: An Introduction to Forensic and Bio-archaeology

In this course, you will learn about laws related to the discovery of human skeletal remains, the role of indigenous partnerships, and using scientific techniques for analysis. Please note: the start date of this course has not been announced yet, but you can set up an email notification to let you know when registration starts.

Physical Anthropology online courses. The top portion of a skeleton, facing the right, with a gray background.

#3: Forensic Facial Reconstruction: Finding Mr. X

In this course, you will learn about analyzing a skull, the facial muscle groups, and facial reconstruction. You’ll also learn about forensic anatomy, and the role of facial reconstruction in forensics.

#4: Anatomy: Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems

In this course, you will learn about the skeletal system, as well as the joints and skeletal muscles. (The study of the skeleton, called osteology, is part of Physical Anthropology.)

#5: Introduction to Human Evolution

In this course, you will learn about evolution and biological variation, along with major events in human evolution. You’ll also learn about the human fossil record, archaeological record, and genetic record.

#6: Bipedalism: The Science of Upright Walking

In this course, you will learn about the mechanics of upright walking and the origins of upright walking. You’ll also learn about the advantages and disadvantages of upright walking.

Physical Anthropology online courses. A blue and pink strand of DNA with a red background.

#7: DNA: Biology’s Genetic Code

In this course, you will learn about how DNA was identified, and the structure of DNA. You’ll also learn about damage to DNA and DNA analysis. (Physical Anthropology includes a study of genetics.)

#8: Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

In this course, you will learn about evidence for evolution, basic genetics, population genetics, and molecular evolution. You’ll also learn about adaptive behaviors, speciation, phylogenetics, and the application of evolution to human health.

#9: REAL BONES: Adventures in Forensic Anthropology

In this course, you will learn about dental growth and development, the phases of bone maturation, and the analysis of human remains. You’ll also learn about DNA recovery of skeletal and mummified remains.

#10: Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones

In this course, you will learn about the bones in the human skeleton, and what you can learn from them. You’ll also learn about bones and trauma, bones and diet, bones and activity, and bones and migration.

Physical Anthropology online courses. A mother monkey with a baby on her back.

#11: Evolution of the Human Sociality: A Quest for the Origin of Our Social Behavior

In this course, you will learn about basic concepts in primatology. You’ll also learn about human evolution and primates, and primate evolution.

#12: Primate Conservation

In this course, you will learn about threats to primates around the world. You’ll also learn about environmental changes and their connection to primate conservation.

Learn More

I hope you enjoyed this list of free online courses related to Physical Anthropology! Did you find a course or two (or more!) that you are interested in taking? 

If you want to learn more about Physical Anthropology, check out the Biological Anthropology Tutorials offered by Palomar College at this link.

Thanks for reading!