The British Museum holds approximately 6 000 human remains, the majority of which were recovered in the past century. Regarding the Dead addresses the British Museum's approach to the ethical issues surrounding the inclusion of human remains in the Museum's collection and presents solutions to the dilemmas relating to their curation, storage, access management and display.
The holding of human remains in museums has long been a matter of academic and public discourse. The issues surrounding the rightful ownership, proper care, research and display of human remains are strongly debated, both within the museums and heritage sector and in the media on an international scale. Using case studies from the British Museum, Regarding the Dead examines these issues and explains how the availability of human remains for study has many benefits. Human remains provide the most direct and insightful sources of information on different cultural approaches to death, burial practices and belief systems. Their study also helps to advance important research concerning the history of disease, changing epidemiological patterns, forensics and human biology. The book draws together diverse strands of research concerning human remains and reflects the great variety of challenges and discoveries associated with this work as well as the sensitivities involved.
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