Educational value of human remains is often not emphasised in guidelines on archaeological human remains Ethical debates in England & elsewhere mainly framed in terms of research versus reburial EH / CofE policy of use of partially or fully redundant churches to store remains
Do we need to use real bones for university teaching? DCMS, EH\C-of-E & BABAO guidelines say yes! Models / casts: Do not adequately reproduce anatomical detail Do not reproduce archaeological reality Do not encompass range of natural and pathological variability
Should we use real bones for handling sessions at public events? Why would we need to? DCMS guideline: emphasises risks involved EH/C-of-E guideline: models / casts may be preferable Some organisations do use real bones & report no problems
Different criteria affect research and teaching value of a collection ResearchTeaching Large collectionsX Good bone preservation Tight datingX Articulated skeletons Not always
Ethical issues in the use of human remains for teaching Knowledge-based ethics: the preservation of the information content of a collection Actions: obligate behaviours that ensure the integrity of a collection Respect for human remains : What does respect mean in practical terms? Actions: Only use remains for their intended purpose; refrain from actions that are not consistent with this
Destructive sampling of human remains in student projects: how can it be justified? Imperative of preservation of collections vs imperative toward gaining new knowledge from them Likelihood of useful knowledge being generated that could not be gained in another way Educational value to the student
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