Chapter 9. Databases

  1. Ron Pinhasi PhD Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology member2 and
  2. Simon Mays PhD Human Skeletal Biologist Visiting Lecturer member Secretary3
  1. William White CChem, FRSC, FSA Senior Curator Diploma in Archaeology postgraduate

Published Online: 27 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470724187.ch9

Advances in Human Palaeopathology

Advances in Human Palaeopathology

How to Cite

White, W. (2007) Databases, in Advances in Human Palaeopathology (eds R. Pinhasi and S. Mays), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470724187.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Archaeology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

  2. 3

    English Heritage Centre for Archaeology, Fort Cumberland, Eastney, Portsmouth PO4 9LD, UK

Author Information

  1. Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, The Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 DEC 2007
  2. Published Print: 14 DEC 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470036020

Online ISBN: 9780470724187



  • archaeology;
  • anthropology;
  • bioarchaeology;
  • medicine;
  • osteoarchaeology;
  • palaeodemography;
  • palaeopathology


This contribution reviews some of the circumstances that have recently led to the setting up of databases of human remains by various organizations and institutions, with an emphasis on developments in North America and Europe. A classification of different types of human remains databases is presented. They range from simple inventories intended to help researchers to locate archived skeletal material, to those with considerable osteological detail developed with the aim that researchers use the data therein directly in their research. The strengths and weaknesses of some of the major extant databases are evaluated, and possible future directions discussed.