Created By: bradpara on February 26, 2011 Last Edited By: Westrim on May 2, 2016

Artistic License Anthropology

Somewhere an Anthropologist is Crying.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Anthropology is a crossroads of science where subjects as varied as biology and history come together in the name of understanding humans and their ancestors. However, that opens up a lot of opportunities for misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and just simplification of what we know about humanity and what came before us.

As with all Artistic License tropes, the degree of accuracy varies greatly, from They Just Didn't Care to Shown Their Work.


Examples

Film
  • 10,000 BC is laughably inaccurate in all respects; You'd think they could have gotten at least one thing right, but it's obvious that They Just Didn't Care. As one reviewer wrote about the main villainous empire:
    I mean, these people may not have invented the wheel yet, but they do ride horses, build pyramids, use bows and even SWORDS (not really available at least until the invention of bronze), sail in large riverboats, and in one scene, display a remarkably accurate map of the world. I was hoping the being they refer to as the Almighty would prove to be an alien, to explain how all this was possible; but when he gets killed you see the lower half of his face and he is quite disappointingly human. Had this empire survived many of us denizens of the twenty-first century would probably have been born on other planets.

Literature
  • The Quest For Fire had advanced and primitive hominids coexisting.

Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • February 27, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Dear God, Ten Thousand BC. It's laughably inaccurate in all respects. You'd think they could have gotten at least one thing right but it's obvious that They Just Didnt Care. As one reviewer wrote about the main villainous empire:
      I mean, these people may not have invented the wheel yet, but they do ride horses, build pyramids, use bows and even SWORDS (not really available at least until the invention of bronze), sail in large riverboats, and in one scene, display a remarkably accurate map of the world. I was hoping the being they refer to as the Almighty would prove to be an alien, to explain how all this was possible; but when he gets killed you see the lower half of his face and he is quite disappointingly human. Had this empire survived many of us denizens of the twenty-first century would probably have been born on other planets.
  • February 27, 2011
    MarxIzalias
    This is a derivative of: Did Not Do The Research
  • February 27, 2011
    bradpara
  • February 27, 2011
    BuckRivera
    Shouldn't this be called You Fail Anthropology Forever, to conform with all the other You Fails? (Although those could be called Somewhere An X Is Crying as well.)
  • February 27, 2011
    kuyanJ
    The title should be "You Fail Archaology Forever" or "Somewhere An Archaeologist Is Crying". Anthropologists study contemporary cultures and societies.
  • February 27, 2011
    TBTabby
    This is covered by You Fail Biology Forever.
  • February 28, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Biology is actually very different from anthropology.
  • February 28, 2011
    Euodiachloris
    Um - for them what thinks anthropology doesn't cover digging stuff up... erm... then why did I have to work hard to avoid those little brushes and all that dust at university, but couldn't shrug off the carbon dating essays? There's a major difference between "ooooh, nice vase of the early Etruscan period" and "that's a female mandible of a robust australopithecine, and not a gracile male one - I think". Yup - Archeology and Anthropology rub shoulders - just as much as Sociology and Biology do with it, too. So, I think this should just be lumped with Did Not Do The Research instead of subdividing into disciplines... or we will have a Psychologist, a Mathematician, a Physicist, etc, etc all crying as well.
  • February 28, 2011
    DAN004
    Anthropology, as said, is not just about the study about humans' body (thus, differs from biology), but also human's psychology and the relation of both.
  • February 17, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Bump
  • February 17, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    The Quest For Fire had advanced and primitive hominids coexisting.

  • February 17, 2012
    LeeM
    ^ Not necessarily an example. We know that Neanderthals and primitive humans existed side by side. Even human tribes that happened to live relatively close to each other wouldn't necessarily have the same level of technological development, depending on how little communication there was between them.
  • February 18, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    ^The movie depicted Neandertals getting attacked by Australopithecines.
  • February 18, 2012
    Vidor
    Unfortunately the You Fail X Forever index was made YMMV and given the spectacularly bad general name of Artistic License--X.

    As far as this example goes, it deserves a page. "The Far Side" depicted humans and dinosaurs together.
  • February 18, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    You Fail X Forever isn't YMMV. Neither is Artistic License X. The first got a special banner for its negative name, the latter's are free to use and not YMMV.
  • February 18, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Agreed, Euodiachloris. I was a biological anthropology major (fossil record, primate evolution and behavior, etc...) so I know where you're coming from.
  • February 18, 2012
    Catbert
    So.... This is almost a year old. Anyone planning on writing a proper description?
  • February 18, 2012
    Westrim
    I'm just surprised the You Fail naming convention had defenders back in the day. Damn was I glad when it was changed, such a complaint magnet. Grabbing.
  • August 30, 2014
    Westrim
    Not sure what's weirder, that this got lost for 2 1/2 years or that no one created another version in the meantime. This can't be to hard to launch quickly.
  • August 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Tell me how a work can fail anthropology forever in the description.
  • August 30, 2014
    ZuTheSkunk
    This is in a desperate need of a description understandable for an average person.
  • August 30, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Perhaps this is already covered by Anachronism Stew, at least for instances of artifacts shown existing before they were discovered / invented.
  • August 31, 2014
    Arivne
    • Split up the title into words.
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Sorted examples by media and added media section title(s).
      • Namespaced work name(s).
  • August 31, 2014
    TheHandle
    The natives in King Kong. Any iteration thereof.
  • September 2, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^ Zero Context Example. Please expand.
  • September 2, 2014
    Snicka
    Supertrope to Hollywood Natives (under which the King Kong examples fall).
  • September 8, 2014
    TheHandle
    In the original film, they're your basic Hollywood Natives making silly tribal dances and sacrificing you to an angry god.

    In the Peter Jackson version, they're horrifying warped inbred horror-movie psychopaths driven insane by the most hostile wildlife imaginable, and one wonders how they could have survived there for so long.
  • September 8, 2014
    HeavyTony
    • Bruno Mattei used stock-shots from various ethnological documentaries about different native societies to show what's supposed to be a Papuan village in Hell Of The Living Dead.
  • September 8, 2014
    SharleeD
    • In an episode of Face Off in which alien Precursors associated with different ancient monuments were designed, the woman whose alien was associated with Stonehenge repeatedly called the natives who built the monument Vikings. Either she or the program staff who wrote the description of Stonehenge she'd used for guidance messed up badly, as the Vikings didn't come along until thousands of years after its first stones were laid.
  • May 2, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Bump. A lot of works get prehistory and early history wrong.
  • May 2, 2016
    ErikModi
    X Men First Class: When Charles reads from his doctoral thesis, he cites that homo sapiens rapidly exterminated neanderthals wherever they appeared. This might have been thought accurate in the 1960s, and is certainly central to the humans/mutants dichotomy the X-Men franchise runs on, but new anthropological evidence is suggesting that the neanderthal die-off was much more gradual, a lot of civilization breakthroughs attributed to homo sapiens actually originated with neanderthals, and that homo sapiens and neanderthals actually co-existed for quite some time, even interbreeding.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1apyhc4jn6pd9f1fxuovyx7u