Close

BLOG

FREE and Cheap Anthropology Textbooks

Open book with orange flowers

Are you interested in Anthropology, but you can’t afford to buy textbooks to learn more? Then this blog post is for you! In this blog post, I’ll show you ways to get Anthropology textbooks either cheap or free!

Cheap Anthropology Textbooks

You probably already know that you can buy cheap textbooks on eBay, and sometimes Amazon. But you may not know about these websites listed below. I order books from them all the time, and I highly suggest them (and no, I’m not being paid to say this or anything. And, the links below are NOT affiliate links–I’m not paid when you click on these links.)

These sites usually have the previous editions of Anthropology textbooks for very cheap–I have purchased some for less than $5! It’s fine to use the previous edition of textbooks if you want to learn Anthropology on your own. They might not talk about the latest findings, especially in archaeology and paleoanthropology, but you will learn the basic concepts just fine. 

For a huge list of textbooks I recommend, please check out this page of my website. You may be able to buy these books cheaply on the websites listed below.

Rows of brown old-fashioned books

Thriftbooks

Thriftbooks

This website offers all kinds of books–used and new, including Anthropology textbooks and ethnographies. If you buy over $10, then shipping is free–otherwise shipping (in the USA) is only 99 cents! And, if you join their club, after you buy a certain number of books, you get a book free! Here are some examples of what you might find at this website: (all examples are in US dollars)

Examples of Textbooks

Cultural Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives $4.79

Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology $4.19

Archaeology Essentials: Theories, Methods, and Practice $4.69

Introduction to Physical Anthropology $6.99

Language, Culture, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology $4.19

Examples of Ethnographies

Patterns of Culture $3.99

In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in el Barrio $3.99

Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa $3.99

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman $3.99

5 open books stacked on top of each other

AbeBooks

AbeBooks

This website also offers books of all kinds, used and new, including Anthropology textbooks and ethnographies. Shipping is often free! Here are some examples of what you might find at this website: (all examples are in US dollars)

Examples of Textbooks

Essentials of Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age $5.00

The Human Species: An Introduction to Biological Anthropology $3.51

Archaeology: The Science of the Human Past $3.51

The Anthropology of Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology $3.96

Examples of Ethnographies

Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village $3.61

The Dobe Ju/‘Hoansi $3.79

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures $3.89

The Forest People $3.69

rows of different colored books on a brown bookshelf

FREE Anthropology Textbooks

There are several free and open-source Anthropology textbooks available online:

Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology (2nd Edition) 

This book can be read online, downloaded separately by chapter, or downloaded in one PDF. It was created by the American Anthropology Association’s Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges. It covers the introductory Cultural Anthropology concepts, such as culture, language, economics, politics, family and marriage, gender, religion, and more!

Explorations: An Open Invitation to Biological Anthropology

This book can be downloaded separately by chapter, or downloaded in one PDF. It was created by the American Anthropology Association’s Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges. It covers many Biological Anthropology topics, including evolution, genetics, primates, human evolution, human variation, race, osteology, and more!

The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology

This book can be downloaded in different formats, such as a PDF, Kindle book, and iBooks file. You can also download the chapters separately. This book was written by Michael Wesch at Kansas State University.  It covers introductory Cultural Anthropology topics, including culture, language, love, identity, race, gender, religion, tools, globalization, and more!

Becoming Human: How Evolution Made Us

This book can be read online, or downloaded in PDF, Kindle, and EPUB formats. It was written by Greg Downey at Macquarie University. This book covers topics related to human evolution, such as how evolution affects the way we are today, the development of our brains, vestigial organs, bones that are similar to those of other organisms, and lots more!

Introduction to Human Osteology

This book can be downloaded as a PDF. It was written by a team of several people at various universities in the USA. This book covers basic human osteology for Anthropologists, including descriptions to bones to aid in identification, and techniques for siding, aging, sexing, and stature estimation.

The History of Our Tribe: Hominini

This book can be read online, or downloaded in either a PDF or an EPUB format. It was written by Barbara Welker at SUNY (State University of New York) Geneseo. This book covers topics in Paleoanthropology (human origins and evolution), including primate classification and primate evolution, and human ancestors such as Sahelanthropus, Orrin, Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, Homo, and more!

Introduction to Physical Anthropology

This book can be read online. It was written by Arnie Schoenberg. It covers basic topics in Physical Anthropology, including the evolution of evolutionary thought, genetics, osteology, primatology, paleoanthropology, human variation, and more!

Native Peoples of North America

This book can be downloaded either in PDF or EPUB format. It was written by Susan Stebbins at the University at Albany. This book in an introductory Anthropological textbook about the Native people of North America. Topics covered include kinship, language, food, religion, arts, marriage and family, economics, politics, and more!

Folklife & Fieldwork: An Introduction to Cultural Documentation

This book can be downloaded in a PDF format. It is also available in a Spanish language version. This book was written by Stephen Winick and Peter Bartis. It covers the topic of documenting culture, including preparing for fieldwork, writing fieldnotes, recording interviews, taking photos, preserving and presenting your results, and more!

an opened book in the grass with 2 dandelion flowers

I hope you enjoyed this list of free and cheap Anthropology textbooks. If you know of a free textbook that is not mentioned here, please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out this page of my website to see a list of recommended textbooks!

Thanks for reading!