Top Physical Anthropology Textbooks

This webpage provides an up-to-date list of the top physical anthropology textbooks.
Rankings are based upon the number of syllabi in which a physical anthropology book has appeared since 2015 (source:
The most recent edition of each book is provided.

1.  Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology (Fourth Edition)

Author(s): Clark Spencer Larsen
Publication date: 2017-06-01
ISBN: 039361400X
ISBN-13: 9780393614008

Our Origins, Fourth Edition, helps students engage with the "big picture" of human evolution. Innovative media, photorealistic art, rigorously current content, new animations, new custom-produced Anthropology Matters videos, and InQuizitive adaptive learning deliver everything needed to teach a state-of-the-art class.

2.  Essentials of Physical Anthropology (10th Edition)

Author(s): Robert Jurmain, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan, Eric Bartelink
Publication date: 2016-03-02
ISBN: 1305633814
ISBN-13: 9781305633810

Bestselling Essentials of Physical Anthropology, 10th Edition, presents a concise and authoritative introduction to physical anthropology with the goal of helping students understand the science behind human evolution and how humans are biologically connected to all life forms. These biological connections link our species with our ancient ancestors, our contemporary primate cousins, and show how closely modern human populations are related to each other. The text emphasizes this theme of biological connections as well as the connections between chapters in the material presented. This framework will help students grasp the big picture of human evolution and better navigate the material.

3.  Essentials of Physical Anthropology (Third Edition)

Author(s): Clark Spencer Larsen
Publication date: 2016-05-13
ISBN: 0393612260
ISBN-13: 9780393612264

Essentials of Physical Anthropology, Third Edition, is rich with stunning and photorealistic art, thoughtful pedagogy, innovative media, and up-to-date, student-centered content that illuminate physical anthropology’s most important themes.

4.  Introduction to Physical Anthropology (15th Edition)

Author(s): Robert Jurmain, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan, Russell L. Ciochon, Eric Bartelink
Publication date: 2017-02-02
ISBN: 1337099821
ISBN-13: 9781337099820

Introduction to Physical Anthropology presents the most up-to-date, balanced, and comprehensive introduction to the field, combining an engaging writing style and compelling visual content to bring the study of physical anthropology to life for today's students. With a focus on the big picture of human evolution, the 15th Edition helps students master the basic principles of the subject and arrive at an understanding of the human species and its place in the biological world. It continues to keep pace with changes in the field, with new material on genetic technology and other topics reflecting recent scientific findings, including recent fossil discoveries as well as ancient DNA research on Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans.

5.  Lab Manual and Workbook for Physical Anthropology (8th Edition)

Author(s): Diane L. France
Publication date: 2017-05-23
ISBN: 1305259041
ISBN-13: 9781305259041

With hands-on lab assignments that help you apply physical anthropology perspectives and techniques to real situations, Lab Manual and Workbook for Physical Anthropology walks you through difficult topics such as genetics and the human genome, primate morphology and behavior, human osteology, evolution, and forensic anthropology. Many photographs, marginal definitions, key terms, helpful hints, exercises, and an extensive index emphasize important topics and make studying easy. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.