Regarding the Dead: Human Remains in the British Museum

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  • British Museum Research Publication No. 197

    A key publication on the British Museum’s approach to the ethical issues surrounding the inclusion of human remains in museum collections and possible solutions to the dilemmas relating to their curation, storage, access management and display.

    The inclusion 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.

    The British Museum holds approximately six thousand 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 these, and also discusses important findings of recent research conducted on well- known human remains, such as the famous Lindow Man.

    This title explains how the study of human remains has many benefits. For example, they provide the most direct and insightful sources of information on different cultural approaches to death, burial practices and belief systems. Studying human remains also helps advance important research in fields such as the history of disease, changing epidemiological patterns, forensics and genetics.

    This publication represents a significant advance in a complex and much-debated field of study both in the United Kingdom and abroad. It is essential reading for curators, scholars and students in archaeology, ethnography, museum studies, bio archaeology and physical anthropology.

    About the Authors

    Alexandra Fletcher is curator of the Ancient Near East at the British Museum.

    Daniel Antoine is the Museum’s Curator of Physical Anthropology, works within the Museum’s Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan as Assistant Keeper, and is responsible for the Museum’s human remains collection.

    JD Hill is Research Manager at the British Museum and oversees the strategic direction, management and funding of research activities across the British Museum. He is also responsible for the Museum’s human remains.

  • Product code: cmc0861591978
    Exhibition: Ancient lives
    Title: Regarding the Dead
    Subtitle: Human Remains in the British Museum
    Authors: Alexandra Fletcher, Daniel Antoine, JD Hill
    ISBN: 9780861591978
    Format: Hardback (Perfect bound, gloss laminated cover)
    Number of pages: 180 pages
    Size: 30cm x 21cm
    llustrations: 80 illustrations
    Publication date: May 2014
    Weight: 0.579kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

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This book outlines how the museum curates human remains in its collection, its benefits to our understanding as well as the ethical considerations of studying the dead.
The Arbuturian magazine

2014-07-25
2014-04-14
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