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Keywords:

  • osteology;
  • bioarchaeology;
  • repatriation;
  • NAGPRA;
  • race

ABSTRACT

In this essay, I consider recent osteological and bioarchaeological contributions to literature on Native American repatriation given the heightened visibility of theoretical and methodological conflicts within physical anthropology over race and race determination. Contestations between researchers, particularly at the osteological nexus with the traditional biological race concept, have intersected with repatriation, both in and out of the anthropological literature, and in federal district court. The publications reviewed here exemplify this emerging multiplicity of practice in osteology and bioarchaeology, and therefore, in toto, incisively portray the complexities that repatriation has brought to skeletal inquiry in the United States.