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Durham University

Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Professor Charlotte Roberts

Roberts, C.A. (2009). Human remains in archaeology: a handbook. Practical Handbooks in Archaeology No 19. York.: Council for British Archaeology.

Author(s) from Durham


This book, no 19 in the CBA Practical Handbook series, provides the very latest guidance on all aspects of the recovery, handling and study of human remains. It beings by asking why we should study human remains, and the ethical issues surrounding their recovery, analysis and curation, along with consideration of the current legal requirements associated with the excavation of human remains in Britain.

The nature of the disposal of the dead and the effect of the environment on their preservation is then considered. In the following chapters, the author gives practical advice on the excavation, processing and conservation of human remains, and the recording of age at death, sex, height, and pathological lesions. A chapter is also devoted to advanced methodological developments, including stable isotope and ancient DNA analyses. With an extensive bibliography, this book is essential reading for all professional practitioners, students of burial archaeology and human bioarchaeology, and the interested public.