I have a degree in anthropology. It's from long ago, and not very "useful", in the "real world", but. . . if I hadn't had that degree, I wouldn't have had the slightest idea of where to begin to start researching the "Neandertal" part of my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals! And I wouldn't have had the slightest idea of where to continue. The "medieval" part was harder, at least until I decided I was looking at a time and place where the culture was different from ours, but could be looked at in the ways anthropologists look at other cultures(and our own, current one, too). Once I did that, the writing wasn't easy, but I had a framework.
All of this is just a lead-in to the latest John Hawks blog. He interviewed Anne Weaver, the author of a delightful-sounding children's book, The Voyage of the Beetle. It's interesting sounding and relevant, because it's a children's book from the point of view of a beetle that sailed with Charles Darwin on the famous Beagle. I haven't read it, but I hear that kids enjoy it. And the author started out as an anthropologist!
I thinkk there's hope for all of us,