Research in anthropology tends to focus on one of the four main branches: physical/biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Some researchers work in collaboration with those in neighboring fields such as biology, geography, and psychology.
Many researchers choose to focus on a particular contemporary group such as Aboriginal Canadians, South Asians, Africans, Scandinavians, etc. They study the particulars of those cultures and attempt to understand the interrelationships amongst them. For example, researchers may study the religious practices of those in Latin America and compare them to European practices, with respect to things such as religious holidays, commercialization, and how traditions have changed over the years. Others may study topics such as language and how it changes over time, over geography, and in literature, with some researchers focusing on dead languages or those which are becoming extinct.
Other anthropologists analyze ancient cultures for a variety of reasons: biological study, historical accuracy, geological time, and present-day cultural understanding. These people often work with those in geology, forensic science, geography, biology, and medicine to study ancient graves, middens, dwellings, and entire cities. For example, researchers are working to uncover previously-buried cities in northern Africa to understand how ancient cultures lived and how this differs from present-day cities perched atop these ancient sites. Others are discovering new signs of ancient humanity in Europe (eg. new cave systems, bodies in glacial ice, etc) and using this information to trace the origins and paths these peoples took as they traveled and settled around the globe.