British Museum Research Publication No. 197
A key publication on the British Museumís 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 Museumís 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 Museumís Curator of Physical Anthropology, works within the Museumís Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan as Assistant Keeper, and is responsible for the Museumís 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 Museumís human remains.