Human skeletal remains: Preservation or reburial?

Authors

  • Douglas H. Ubelaker,

    1. Department of Anthropology National Museum of Natural History; Office of General Council, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560
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  • Lauryn Guttenplan Grant

    1. Department of Anthropology National Museum of Natural History; Office of General Council, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560
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Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a surge of scientific interest in the biocultural analysis of mortuary sites and human remains. Concurrently, members of the American Indian community and others have questioned the merit of scientific study and argued for reburial of Indian human remains and associated artifacts. Strong differences of opinion have led to varied responses among museums, professional organizations, federal and state organizations, and individuals. This article addresses the scientific, ethical, religious, political, and legal issues raised by this debate.

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