Jose López Mazz

This article will describe the contemporary scientific techniques used to excavate and identify the dead bodies of disappeared detainees from the Uruguayan dictatorship. It will highlight the developments that have led to increased success by forensic anthropologists and archaeologists in uncovering human remains, as well as their effects, both social and political, on promoting the right to the truth and mechanisms of transitional justice.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Élisabeth Anstett, Jean-Marc Dreyfus, and Caroline Fournet

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Pamela Colombo

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Colonialism, grave robbery and intellectual history
Larissa Förster, Dag Henrichsen, Holger Stoecker, and Hans Axasi╪Eichab

In 1885, the Berlin pathologist Rudolf Virchow presented three human skeletons from the colony of German South West Africa to the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory. The remains had been looted from a grave by a young German scientist, Waldemar Belck, who was a member of the second Lüderitz expedition and took part in the occupation of colonial territory. In an attempt to re-individualise and re-humanise these human remains, which were anonymised in the course of their appropriation by Western science, the authors consult not only the colonial archive, but also contemporary oral history in Namibia. This allows for a detailed reconstruction of the social and political contexts of the deaths of the three men, named Jacobus Hendrick, Jacobus !Garisib and Oantab, and of Belck’s grave robbery, for an analysis of how the remains were turned into scientific objects by German science and institutions, as well as for an establishment of topographical and genealogical links with the Namibian present. Based on these findings, claims for the restitution of African human remains from German institutions cannot any longer be regarded as a contemporary phenomenon only but must be understood as part of an African tradition of resistance against Western colonial and scientific practices.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
The fate of Namibian skulls in the Alexander Ecker Collection in Freiburg
Reinhart Kößler

This article explores the history of the Alexander Ecker Collection and situates it within the larger trajectory of global collecting of human remains during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is then linked to the specific context of the genocide in then German South West Africa (1904–8), with the central figure of Eugen Fischer. The later trajectory of the collection leads up to the current issues of restitution. The Freiburg case is instructive since it raises issues about the possibilities and limitations of provenance research. At the same time, the actual restitution of fourteen human remains in 2014 occurred in a way that sparked serious conflict in Namibia which is still on-going four years later. In closing, exigencies as well as pressing needs in connection with the repatriation and (where possible) rehumanisation of human remains are discussed.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Jonah S. Rubin, Iñaki Robles Elong, Riva Kastoryano, Marije Hristova, Iosif Kovras, and Ivana Belén Ruiz-Estramil
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Caroline Fournet, Benoit Pouget, and Jean-Marc Dreyfus
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Anne Carol, Jefrey Gamarra, Carolina Kobelinsky, and Bob Simpson
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal