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The construction of an underground car park beneath the main square of Turin, Italy in 2004 led to the unearthing of the skeletonised remains of twenty-two individuals attributable to the early eighteenth century. At this time the city was besieged during the War of the Spanish Succession in a hard-fought battle that resulted in unexpected triumph for the Piedmontese, a victory that marked a fundamental turning point in Italian history. The current study assesses the strength of evidence linking the excavated individuals to the siege and assesses their possible role in the battle through consideration of their biological profiles, patterns of pathology and the presence of traumatic injuries. This article presents the first analysis of evidence for the siege of Turin from an anthropological point of view, providing new and unbiased information from the most direct source of evidence available: the remains of those who actually took part.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

This article will query the ethics of making and displaying photographs of human remains. In particular, we will focus on the role of photography in constituting human remains as specimens, and the centrality of the creation and circulation of photographic images to the work of physical anthropology and bioarchaeology. This work has increasingly become the object of ethical scrutiny, particularly in the context of a (post)colonial politics of recognition in which indigenous people seek to recover dominion over their looted material heritage, including the remains of their dead. This ethical concern extends to the question of how and under what circumstances we may display photographs of human remains. Moreover, this is not just a matter of whether and when we should or should not show photographs of the remains of the dead. It is a question of how these images are composed and produced. Our discussion of the ethics of the image is, therefore, indivisible from a consideration of the socio-technical process by which the photographic image is produced, circulated and consumed.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
The French search mission for the corpses of deportees in Germany, 1946–58

discuss the work of the French search mission in Germany, a body that was active from 1946 to 1958 and that was under the charge of the Ministry of War Veterans, ­Deportees and War Victims.9 To illustrate the potential of research into the role of the body in – and after – situations of mass violence and genocide, we address two specific aspects: first, the diplomatic dimension of the negotiations that led to the French search mission being given authoriz­ation to work on German soil; and second, in greater detail, the use of physical anthropology and forensics in

in Human remains and mass violence
Open Access (free)

identification, classification and display) focuses on the historical configurations that presided over the birth of physical anthropology, and which are inextri­ cably linked with genocides and crimes against humanity. One has the feeling that a spectre hovers above a number of chapters in this volume:  that of racial anthropology as it developed in the West at the end of the nineteenth century, a discipline that subjected bodies and human remains  –​in particular skulls  –​to study using instruments to measure and compare them, in order to justify hierarchies between

in Human remains in society
Open Access (free)
A war of extermination, grave looting, and culture wars in the American West

Morton’s Crania America (1839), Ales Hrdlicka’s Directions for Collecting Information and Specimens for Physical Anthropology (1904), and Edward Gifford’s California Anthropometry (1926) – the measurement of brain cavities, nostrils, and degree of slope in foreheads generated all kinds of essentialist scientific quackery to justify the civilizational superiority of white Europeans and innate inferiority of Native peoples.36 Morton, Hrdlicka, and Gifford encouraged amateur archaeologists to dig up graves and send them any remains they discovered. ‘The fresher the

in Human remains and identification
Challenges and technological solutions to the ­identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context

application of forensic archaeology and anthropology in Colombia’s conflict’, in Ferllini (ed.), Forensic Archaeology and Human Rights Violations, pp. 170–204. Djuric et al., ‘Identification of victims’. Identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios   133 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 D. Komar, ‘Lessons from Srebrenica: the contributions and limitations of physical anthropology in identifying victims of war crimes’, Journal of Forensic Sciences, 48 (2003), 1–4. M. Šlaus, D. Strinović, N. Pećina-Šlaus, H. Brkić, D. Baličević, V

in Human remains and identification
The Fowlers and modern brain disorder

talent. The larger the organ, the greater the corresponding faculty, which could be measured by the size and shape of the skull. Thus, phrenology could explain the relative strengths and weaknesses of a person's mind and character. Although phrenology's claims were not substantiated by experimental scientific method, historians of science have traced the real and lasting impact of Gall's thinking, from the diffusion of scientific naturalism that prepared the public for Darwinian evolution, to its influence upon fields as diverse as psychology, physical anthropology

in Progress and pathology
Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa

’ postgraduate training included exhuming the colonialera skeletons discussed earlier; a few, under the guidance of their Missing persons and colonial skeletons in South Africa   189 professor (a key protagonist in those disputes), had sought to conduct further research on the skeletal remains. But here, where physical anthropology has produced cause of death and the individual identities of apartheid’s violated and dead bodies in the service of the nation, it has been uncontroversial. Nonetheless, Rassool asserts that the move to human rights work has provided a means to

in Human remains and identification
Open Access (free)

configure their relationship to the American nation. Stretching back to the nineteenth-century traditions of ethnology, physical anthropology and phrenology, scientists have collected thousands of skulls and other remains from American Indians, often from battle sites. Many were stored in the Smithsonian Institution, which opened in 1846. Some of these were acquired with appropriate permission, but many were taken fraudulently or by stealing from mass grave-sites. Native UNITED STATES 241 Americans have increasingly sought the return of these human remains for proper

in Democratization through the looking-glass

Agamben crowned as the ‘biopolitical paradigm of the west’,1 but there are also more mundane objects and sites, such as: archives of biometric data; DNA tests; or the die-hard racial typologies of physical anthropology. This chapter suggests adding corpses of mass violence and genocide to this list. However, the corpse is not suggested here as yet another privi­ leged object that happens to register all, most or even only some of the mysteries (note the theological slippage) of biopolitics. In fact, as argued below, privileging certain objects or sites within the

in Human remains and mass violence