By Warren P. Mason
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One aspect of this work involved the collection of Native American crania and artifacts from battlefields and cemeteries. ” Other documents make it clear that these collections were made under the protest of the Indians whose graves were being raided and that such activities could even result in further hostilities with the Indians (Bieder, 1992). Although government-sanctioned grave robbing of this kind eventually stopped, it understandably continues to provoke outrage among the descendants of the people whose bodies were stolen (Riding In, 1992).
These approaches are explicitly addressed in the first chapter of the two more recent Katzenberg and Saunders volumes. The second chapter in each describes the growth of forensic anthropology and its important contributions to, and synergism with, skeletal biology. Forensic anthropology clearly influences the range of topics presented in the current volume, including the addition of chapters on taphonomy and skeletal trauma. Returning to Hoyme’s remarks about societal contributions as a measure of the maturation of a discipline, the growth of forensic anthropology would suggest that our field is mature indeed.
In many places displays of human remains are such popular tourist attractions that they have become the mainstays of local economies. The 15 Museo de los Momias in Mexico, where the naturally mummified bodies of poor people who could not afford to purchase permanent graves are on display, is touted as Mexico’s second most popular museum, bested only by the anthropological museum in Mexico City (Osmond, 1998). Two similar examples are the awe-inspiring creativity of displays of thousands of human bones disinterred from a cemetery near Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic and in the Church of the Capuchins in Rome (Fig.