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Working with human remains raises a whole host of ethical issues, from how the remains are used to how and where they are stored. Over recent years, attitudes towards repatriation and reburial have changed considerably and there are now laws in many countries to facilitate or compel the return of remains to claimant communities. Such changes have also brought about new ways of working with and caring for human remains, while enabling their ongoing use in research projects. This has often meant a reevaluation of working practices for both the curation of remains and in providing access to them. Human Remains looks at the issues and difficulties inherent in holding human remains with global origins, and how diverse institutions and countries have tackled these issues. Essential reading for advanced students in biological anthropology, museum studies, archaeology and anthropology, as well as museum curators, researchers and other professionals.
1. A history of human remains in museum and other collections
2. Human remains and scientific research
3. The legal aspects of human remains
4. Ethical considerations for human remains
5. Good practice in curating human remains
6. Other belief systems and the care of human remains
7. A history of repatriation
8. Repatriation today
9. The importance of provenance
10. Reburial and the alternatives
11. Where we go from here?
Margaret Clegg is an Honorary Senior Research Associate at University College London and was formerly Head of the Human Remains Unit of the Natural History Museum, London. She is a leading expert on the issue of repatriation of human remains, and her research also focuses on the archaeological evidence for hominin cognition, and the evolution of modern human growth and development, including modern human morphological variation. She is a member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO) and a variety of advisory panels, including the steering committee of the Advisory Panel on the Archaeology of Burials in England (APABE).