Body Snatching & Grave Robbing: Bodies for Science

  title={Body Snatching \& Grave Robbing: Bodies for Science},
  author={Megan Highet},
  journal={History and Anthropology},
  pages={415 - 440}
  • M. Highet
  • Published 1 December 2005
  • Law
  • History and Anthropology
This paper parallels the history of body snatching for dissection in the United States with the robbing of Native American graves by nineteenth‐century anthropologists for osteological collections. The implications of the similarities revealed are discussed; specifically whether ethical responsibilities to the deceased were being upheld by researchers and how these practices were maintained through the exploitation of marginalized members of society. In both cases, bodies were commodified in… 

Bioarchaeology and the Ethics of Research Using Human Skeletal Remains

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Conclusion: The Anthropology of Dissection and Autopsy

This concluding chapter highlights two themes that can be observed throughout the contributions to the volume: dissections and autopsy as a transformative act and the relationship between dissection and structural inequality.

33. How to steal a body

You are a medical student in 1820, training in anatomy has now become a prerequisite to graduation but there are limited cadavers available for dissection, and you could be a body snatcher just by “borrowing” the occasional body.

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The high frequency of solitary craniotomies suggests that while a system was in place that utilized the underclass for medical study, the common autopsy was a greater motivation for the cases of postmortem alteration viewed among the institutional cemetery.

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The National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (NM-UFRJ), Brazil, suffered a serious fire in 2018, resulting in the loss or severe damage of many collections. The human osteological

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  • S. Palmié
  • Art
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 2006
As Marcel Mauss (1967: 46) famously remarked, western societies draw a “marked distinction… between real and personal law, between things and persons.” Writing at the height of self-conscious early

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This article considers the influence of burials and memorials to colonial soldiers from an earlier era on contemporary social and cultural landscapes in Canada. Through the example of a landscape



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Though physical anthropology as a discipline has grown and diversified remarkably over the past 150 years, the authors' heritage unquestionably derives from these early comparative investigations of human skeletal remains, which initiated a significant tradition in American physical anthropology.

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Centered on the lawsuit over Kennewick Man, this lively history illuminates one of the most contentious issues in science: the battle between archeologists and American Indians. . The 1996 discovery,

The commodification of the body and its parts.

  • L. Sharp
  • Sociology
    Annual review of anthropology
  • 2000
Emergent biotechnologies, whose application in clinical and other related scientific arenas marks a paradigmatic shift in anthropological understandings of the commodified, fragmented body, are concerned.

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