The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation : An international guide to laws and practice in the excavation and treatment of archaeological human remains book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation
An international guide to laws and practice in the excavation and treatment of archaeological human remains

ISBN 9780415859400
Published March 27, 2013 by Routledge
800 Pages

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Book Description

Methodologies and legislative frameworks regarding the archaeological excavation, retrieval, analysis, curation and potential reburial of human skeletal remains differ throughout the world. As work forces have become increasingly mobile and international research collaborations are steadily increasing, the need for a more comprehensive understanding of different national research traditions, methodologies and legislative structures within the academic and commercial sector of physical anthropology has arisen. The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation provides comprehensive information on the excavation of archaeological human remains and the law through 62 individual country contributions from Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Australasia.

More specifically, the volume discusses the following:

  • What is the current situation (including a brief history) of physical anthropology in the country?
  • What happens on discovering human remains (who is notified, etc.)?
  • What is the current legislation regarding the excavation of archaeological human skeletal remains? Is a license needed to excavate human remains? Is there any specific legislation regarding excavation in churchyards? Any specific legislation regarding war graves?
  • Are physical anthropologists involved in the excavation process?
  • Where is the cut-off point between forensic and archaeological human remains (e.g. 100 years, 50 years, 25 years…)?
  • Can human remains be transported abroad for research purposes?
  • What methods of anthropological analysis are mostly used in the country? Are there any methods created in that country which are population-specific?
  • Are there particular ethical issues that need to be considered when excavating human remains, such as religious groups or tribal groups?

In addition, an overview of landmark anthropological studies and important collections are provided where appropriate.

The entries are contained by an introductory chapter by the editors which establish the objectives and structure of the book, setting it within a wider archaeological framework, and a conclusion which explores the current European and world-wide trends and perspectives in the study of archaeological human remains. The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation makes a timely, much-needed contribution to the field of physical anthropology and is unique as it combines information on the excavation of human remains and the legislation that guides it, alongside information on the current state of physical anthropology across several continents. It is an indispensible tool for archaeologists involved in the excavation of human remains around the world.

Table of Contents

FOREWARD – Professor Don Brothwell

PART 1 – INTRODUCTION - Nicholas Márquez-Grant and Linda Fibiger


1. Albania – Maria Grazia Amore

2. Andorra – Abel Fortó García

3. Armenia - Maureen E. Marshall and Ruzan A. Mkrtchyan

4. Azerbaijan - David Maynard and Najaf Museyibli

5. Belarus - Lydia Tegako and Olga Sorokina

6. Belgium - Kim Quintelier, Agnès Malevez, Rosine Orban, Michel Toussaint, Marit Vandenbruaene and Geneviève Yernaux

7. Bosnia and Herzegovina - Amila Zukanović, Nermin Sarajlić and Senem Škulj

8. Bulgaria - Bisserka Gaydarska

9. Croatia - Mario Šlaus, Mario Novak and Marin Vodanović

10. Cyprus - Kirsi O. Lorentz

11. Czech Republic - Petr Velemínský and Lumír Poláček

12. Denmark - Tina Christensen and Pia Bennike

13. Finland - Milton Núñez, Markku Niskanen, Marja-Leena Kortelainen, Juho-Antti Junno, Kirsti Paavola, Sirpa Niinimäki and Mirette Modarress

14. France - Juliette Michel and Phillipe Charlier

15. Germany - Jörg Orschiedt, Ursula Wittwer-Backofen and Stefan Flohr

16. Greece - Constantine Eliopoulos, Konstantinos Moraitis, Velissaria Vanna and Sotiris Manolis

17. Hungary - Ildikó Pap and György Pálfi

18. Iceland - Guðný Zoëga and Hildur Gestsdóttir

19. Ireland - Laureen Buckley

20. Italy - Dario Piombino-Mascali and Albert R. Zink

21. Kosova - Shirley J. Schermer, Edi Shukriu and Sylvia Deskaj

22. Lithuania - Rimantas Jankauskas

23. Luxembourg - Ilka Weidig, Christiane Bis-Worch, Nils-Jörn Rehbach, Ulrich Nothwang, Anja Sindermann, Jean Krier, Foni Le Brun-Ricalens and Jeannot Metzler

24. Macedonia, FYRO - Fanica Veljanovska

25. Malta - Anthony Pace

26. Moldova - Sergiu Musteaţă and Alexander Varzari

27. Monaco - Luca Bianconi

28. Montenegro - Mile Baković and Ivana Medenica

29. The Netherlands - Elisabeth Smits

30. Norway - Berit J. Sellevold

31. Poland - Wiesław Lorkiewicz, Iwona Teul and Paulina Kubacka

32 Portugal - Cláudia Umbelino and Ana Luísa Santos

33. Romania - Szilárd Sándor Gál

34. Russia - Alexandra Buzhilova

35. Serbia - Marija Djurić and Andrej Starović

36. Slovakia - Radoslav Beňuš, Soňa Masnicová, Zuzana Obertová and Drahoslav Hulínek

37. Slovenia - Petra Leben-Seljak and Pavel Jamnik

38. Spain - Nicholas Márquez-Grant, Carme Rissech, Olalla López Costas, Inmaculada Alemán and Luis Caro Dobón

39. Sweden - Torbjörn Ahlström, Elisabeth Iregren, Lena Strid and Kristina Jennbert

40. Turkey - Handan Üstündağ

41. Ukraine - Inna Potekhina

42. United Kingdom - Bill White



43. Egypt - Salima Ikram

44. Sudan - Tina Jakob and Mongeda Khalid Magzoub Ali

45. South Africa - Willem Coenraad Nienaber and Maryna Steyn


46. Canada - Jerome S. Cybulski

47. USA - Douglas H. Ubelaker

48. Mexico - Lourdes Márquez Morfín and Ernesto González Licón

49. Guatemala - Lourdes Penados

50. Puerto Rico - Myriam Llorens-Liboy and Milton Núñez

SOUTH AMERICA – Coordinated by Paola Ponce

South America [Introduction by Paola Ponce]

51. Argentina - Marina L. Sardi

52. Brazil - Sheila Maria Ferraz Mendonça de Souza

53. Chile - Eugenio Aspillaga Fontaine and Bernardo Arriaza

54. Uruguay - Mónica Sans


55. Human remains in Antartica – a unique historical and legal context - Michael Pearson


56. Israel - Yossi Nagar

57. Thailand - Siân Halcrow, Nancy Tayles, Natthamon Pureepatpong and Korakot Boonlop


58. Australia - Denise Donlon and Judith Littleton

59. New Zealand - Nancy Tayles and Siân Halcrow

60. Vanuatu - Stuart Bedford, Ralph Regenvanu, Matthew Spriggs, Hallie Buckley and Frédérique Valentin

PART 4. CONCLUDING REMARKS – Nicholas Márquez-Grant and Linda Fibiger



A2. GIBRALTAR - Kimberly Brown and Clive Finlayson


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Dr Nicholas Márquez-Grant is a Forensic Anthropologist and Archaeologist at Cellmark Forensic Services, Abingdon (UK) and a Research Associate at the Institute of Human Sciences, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford. He has done considerable work on human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts ranging from the Neolithic to the 19th century and from a number of countries. He is also regularly involved in forensic work in the UK. He has taught biological anthropology since 2001 at the University of Oxford.
Dr Linda Fibiger is a physical anthropologist whose research interests include interpersonal violence and conflict in prehistoric Europe, Irish Early Christian Burials, and standards and practice in osteoarchaeology. She has published widely on commercial and research projects in Britain and Ireland, and is currently involved in a research project at the University of Cardiff on changing patterns of living in the earliest agricultural societies of central Europe.


'This will be an incredibly useful source of information for scholars around the world who are, or may be hoping to be, working with human remains from archaeological contexts in particular places across the globe. It will, furthermore, save much time searching for relevant information to help their work, and provide much needed contacts ... an essential reference text for students working on archaeological human remains.' - Charlotte Roberts, Durham University, UK