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Cambodia’s bones
Fiona Gill

The display of human remains is a controversial issue in many contemporary societies, with many museums globally removing them from display. However, their place in genocide memorials is also contested. Objections towards the display of remains are based strongly in the social sciences and humanities, predicated on assumptions made regarding the relationship between respect, identification and personhood. As remains are displayed scientifically and anonymously, it is often argued that the personhood of the remains is denied, thereby rendering the person ‘within’ the remains invisible. In this article I argue that the link between identification and personhood is, in some contexts, tenuous at best. Further, in the context of Cambodia, I suggest that such analyses ignore the ways that local communities and Cambodians choose to interact with human remains in their memorials. In such contexts, the display of the remains is central to restoring their personhood and dignity.

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

anthropology) or indeed for those of the humanities and social ­sciences (through the study and display of mummies or Maori heads in Western museums, for instance), many examples attest to a long history of the display of human remains and even of entire dead bodies. This visibility and presence have generated new thinking regarding their display –​whether whole corpses or constituent parts –​driven by an emerging host of ethical questions, giving rise to various legal measures and codes of good practice aimed at its organisation and regulation. A paradigmatic example of the

in Human remains in society
Rumours of bones and the remembrance of an exterminated people in Newfoundland - the emotive immateriality of human remains
John Harries

change in attitudes and policies concerning the display of human remains and, in particular, the remains of indigenous peoples. The Vermillion Accord on Human Remains adopted by the World Archaeological Congress in 1989 advocates ‘the respect for the mortal remains of the dead’ that ‘shall be accorded to all, irrespective of origin, race, religion, nationality, custom and tradition’ and recognition and respect for the ‘wishes of the local community and the relatives or the guardians of the dead’.62 Museum services have variously engaged with the ambiguous notion of

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
Displaying the dead
Melanie Giles

‘gawped at’ (Raftery 1994 : 188), while the Korselitse bog body from Denmark who had been given Christian burial after his discovery in 1843, was re-exhumed at the behest of the crown prince, and sent for analysis to the National Museum (van der Sanden 1996 : 41). There is thus a long history of fascinated viewing of the bog body phenomenon. As we have seen, Glob’s strategic display of Grauballe Man in 1952 transformed not just public awareness of this phenomenon but normalised the display of human remains in Danish museums (Asingh and Lynnerup 2007 ). Yet in the UK

in Bog bodies
Open Access (free)
Melanie Giles

2009 ) it engages critically with the notion that there has been a curatorial ‘loss of confidence’ and overt concern with marginal viewpoints (Jenkins 2011 ) in the display of human remains particularly in the UK (see Williams and Giles 2016 ). It argues that with bog bodies this is particularly acute due to the ethics of displaying violent death, often ‘sanctified’ through the trope of sacrifice. It will then analyse the curious fascination for facial reconstruction that has obsessed bog body studies (Prag and Neave 1999 ), asking why this further act of bringing

in Bog bodies
Where and when does the violence end?
David M. Anderson and Paul J. Lane

concern and debate have emerged around the treatment of human remains: • the treatment of human remains encountered during archaeological fieldwork; • the treatment of human skeletal remains held by medical schools, surgeons’ colleges, museums, universities and other comparable research institutes, for the purposes of providing comparative re­ference material; • the public display of human remains, whether skeletons, skeletal parts, mummified bodies or parts thereof in museums and similar settings. Often cross-​cutting these debates are arguments concerning the

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
Individuality, identification and multidirectional memorialisation in post-genocide Rwanda
Ayala Maurer-Prager

chapter’s opinion, essentially flawed when applied to the Rwandan context. Indeed, the mass display of human remains that constitute these sites seem, conceptually at least, to be at odds with Eileen Julien’s comment that in the aftermath of the mass depersonalisation that makes genocide possible, ‘the most human response is to seek the uniqueness of individual experience … to tell the individual’s story’.31 Displayed en masse with no identifying markers, the bodies at these memorial sites continue to signify the anonymous non-​identification that was the condition for

in Human remains in society
Joost Fontein

sovereignty over human remains. But apart from the grotesque displays of human remains involved, and the crude politicking taking place around them by the war veteran group, the Fallen Heroes Trust (FHT), which is closely linked to the ruling party, ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front), and which used the exhumations to reinforce its anti-colonialist rhetoric of ‘patriotic history’ (Ranger 2004; Tendi Remaking the dead 115 2010), perhaps the most striking aspect of these events was the way in which the forms and qualities of the human materials

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
Manchester’s bog head
Melanie Giles

and Neave’s groundbreaking facial reconstruction work, Worsley Man had featured in a small, corridor-length display on the art of this technique, in which a panel evoked the particular power of the bog, and the waxwork model was displayed alongside the preserved remains. Yet in 2007, as preparations were being made to host a return visit of Lindow Man, there began to emerge a growing discomfort in the display of human remains by a small number of the public but also professional curators. Worsley Man – the real head – disappeared, to be replaced by one of the

in Bog bodies
Open Access (free)
Melanie Giles

locals. Glob’s talent in galvanising public opinion is clear: after he had brought Grauballe Man to the museum, two thousand visitors queued to see him over the following week before scientific research commenced (Glob [1969] 1971 : 46). In so doing, he arguably transformed the perception not just of this well-preserved phenomenon but of the display of human remains in Denmark and further afield. Yet soon concerns were raised that this was not a prehistoric bog body at all, but the remains of a local drunkard, Red Christian, thought to have drowned in this small bog

in Bog bodies