Open Educational Resources and Anthropology

The curated collection of OER provided below was developed by the ASCCC OERI Anthropology Discipline Lead. If you are interested in seeing how available OER might be used to develop an anthropology associate degree for transfer that is a zero textbook cost (“ZTC”) degree, please see OER and the Anthropology TMC.

Introduction to Biological Anthropology (C-ID ANTH 110)

  • Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology (American Anthropological Association, 2019) (CC BY-NC)
    A comprehensive, peer-reviewed, multi-authored OER for introductory biological anthropology courses. This book chapters explore evolutionary theory, genetics, nonhuman primates origin/evolution, hominin origin/evolution, human adaptation, and other topics. Provides ancillaries, including lecture slides, guided reading notes, and testbank. A complete lab manual, with 2-4 labs/activities per chapter, available Spring 2021.
  • Introduction to Physical Anthropology (Schoenberg, 2020) (CC BY-NC)
    Developed by a California Community College faculty member, this is an introductory biological anthropology OER textbook. The text (except quotations) is licensed under CC-BY-NC, but the author notes “be careful with the graphics.”
  • The History of Our Tribe: Hominini (Welker, 2017) (CC-BY-NC-SA)
    This book includes a section on nonhuman primate origins, but the main focus of the book is on hominin species beginning in the Miocene. This resource from Open SUNY “is designed as a textbook for a course on Human Evolution but can also serve as an introductory text for relevant sections of courses in Biological or General Anthropology or general interest.”
  • Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us (Downey, 2013) (CC-BY-NC 3.0)
    This ebook is distributed free through the support of Smashwords, Open Universities Australia and Enculture Press. Focused on the origins of our species (Homo sapiens), this book is an introduction to evolutionary theory and to human origins.
  • Biological Anthropology (Saneda and Field) – LibreTexts (CC-BY-NC-SA)
    This open text is disseminated via the Open Education Resource (OER) LibreTexts Project. This textbook introduces students to evolutionary theory, nonhuman primates, and human evolution.
  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology (OpenStax) (CC BY)

Biological Anthropology Laboratory (C-ID ANTH 115 L)

Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology – Lab Manual (American Anthropological Association, 2021) (CC BY-NC 4.0) Materials-based and virtual labs, as well as in-class activities, to accompany each Explorations chapter.

Multi-authored labs/activities include:

  • Learning objectives
  • List of required supplies
  • Instructions for faculty
  • Estimated duration
  • Student worksheets
  • Reference to the corresponding Explorations chapter and other readings
  • Consistent format and style

Biological Anthropology – Laboratory Activities – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-SA)
A collection of labs covering: bone identification; Hardy-Weinberg; primates; bone injuries; hominin cranium comparison. Recommended to be used with Biological Anthropology coursework. From the author: The instructor is expected to present the base material that students will need to complete each activity. This allows the instructor to mold the activities to their own approach. Students will need an assigned text to assist with these activities…The contents of this manuscript are available by means of Creative Commons. They may be used free of charge as long as this author and all other copyright holders are given credit for their work. Should you have any activities you wish to add to this manual, and make available under creative commons to other instructors, please notify this author.

General Biology Labs – LibreTexts (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)
There are various resources listed here that may provide lab materials for Biological Anthropology lab courses, or background readings/resources for such courses.

Intro to Cultural Anthropology (C-ID ANTH 120)

  • Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, 2nd Edition (American Anthro, 2020) (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
    A comprehensive, multi-authored, peer-reviewed OER textbook for introduction to cultural anthropology courses. Includes chapters on all topics typically covered in an introductory course and chapters that explore specialized topics. Includes ancillaries, including lecture slides, instructor manual, and test bank.
  • Cultural Anthropology – LibreTexts (CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0)
    An introductory textbook for cultural anthropology organized by three major topics: Anthropology & Culture; Social Institutions; Globalization, Modernization, & Development
  • Cultural Anthropology (Lumen Learning) (Licenses vary)
    This courseware includes resources copyrighted and openly licensed by multiple individuals and organizations. Click the words “Licenses and Attributions” at the bottom of each page for copyright and licensing information specific to the material on that page. An introductory cultural anthropology textbook covering all major topics and produced by Lumen Learning.
  • The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology (New Prairie Press, 2018) (CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)
    This textbook accompanies the free and open Introduction to Cultural Anthropology multimedia course available at: ANTH101.com. Wesch introduces core anthropological concepts and illustrates them by drawing on his own fieldwork experiences and contemporary U.S. examples
  • Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology (American Anthropological Association, 2019) (CC BY-NC)
    A comprehensive, peer-reviewed, multi-authored OER for introductory biological anthropology courses. This book chapters explore evolutionary theory, genetics, nonhuman primates origin/evolution, hominin origin/evolution, human adaptation, and other topics. Provides ancillaries, including lecture slides, guided reading notes, and testbank. A complete lab manual, with 2-4 labs/activities per chapter, available Spring 2021.
  • Introduction to Physical Anthropology (Schoenberg, 2020) (CC BY-NC)
    Developed by a California Community College faculty member, this is an introductory biological anthropology OER textbook. The text (except quotations) is licensed under CC-BY-NC, but the author notes “be careful with the graphics.”
  • The History of Our Tribe: Hominini (Welker, 2017) (CC-BY-NC-SA)
    This book includes a section on nonhuman primate origins, but the main focus of the book is on hominin species beginning in the Miocene. This resource from Open SUNY “is designed as a textbook for a course on Human Evolution but can also serve as an introductory text for relevant sections of courses in Biological or General Anthropology or general interest.”
  • Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us (Downey, 2013) (CC-BY-NC 3.0)
    This ebook is distributed free through the support of Smashwords, Open Universities Australia and Enculture Press. Focused on the origins of our species (Homo sapiens), this book is an introduction to evolutionary theory and to human origins.
  • Biological Anthropology (Saneda and Field) – LibreTexts (CC-BY-NC-SA)
    This open text is disseminated via the Open Education Resource (OER) LibreTexts Project. This textbook introduces students to evolutionary theory, nonhuman primates, and human evolution.
  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology (OpenStax) (CC BY)

Intro to Linguistic Anthropology (C-ID ANTH 130)

No resources identified.

Intro to Archaeology (C-ID ANTH 150)

Digging into Archaeology: A Brief OER Introduction to Archaeology with Activities (Wolcott Paskey and Beasley Cisneros, 2020) (CC BY-NC)
Multi-authored, peer-reviewed, accessible chapters. 16 chapters focus on essential topics in introductory archaeology courses (emphasis on theory and methods). Each chapter includes: learning objectives, terms list, review questions, one or more activities (activities include: short in-person activities, hands-on activities, short-term and full-term projects, indoor and outdoor activities, individual and group work). Flexible modality for in-person and online courses

Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion

Beliefs: An Open Invitation to the Anthropology of Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion (Zunner-Keating and Avetyan, 2020) (CC BY 4.0)
Includes Soundcloud recordings of each chapter, links to primary sources and articles, and eleven chapters covering topics typically included in an introductory course on anthropology of magic, witchcraft, and religion, including: theoretical approaches, witchcraft, ritual, myth, comparative religion, syncretism, altered states of consciousness, and religious specialists.

This page last updated 4-18-22.