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Revista del Museo de Antropología

Print version ISSN 1852-060XOn-line version ISSN 1852-4826


SARDI, Marina L.  and  DEL PAPA, Mariano C. Written on bones and paper. A review of the anthropological collections of the Museo de La Plata. Rev. Mus. Antropol. [online]. 2022, vol.15, n.1, pp.00-00. ISSN 1852-060X.

Abstract In this paper we analyse how the collections of human remains in the Museo de La Plata (Argentina) were intervened, identified, classified, documented, exhibited and stored between the last years of the 19th century and the 1940s. The analysis of archives and publications, the composition of bone assemblages, the storage spaces and the osteological characteristics allow us to state, firstly, that the anatomical criterion was privileged, but not the only one. Thus, collections of skulls, pelvises, long bones, skeletons, and formalin preparations were made, sometimes subdivided by geographical region. Secondly, the exhibition incorporated rearrangements determined by museum curators and their research interests. Thirdly, many skulls and skeletons were identified and referenced, sometimes as the product of vague memories, and then reordered as a result of the exhibition and research. Finally, we discuss how these practices impact in the restitutions of human remains to indigenous people.

Keywords : Human remains; Collections ; Catalogues; Identification; Classification; Restitution.

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