Bones of Contention






The Bones of Contention project started in September 2014 and examines the role and nature of human remains within archaeology.

It looks at the way humans have buried their dead, attitudes to death & burial, funerary & mortuary practices and a belief in the afterlife, from prehistory to the present day.

The project also considers public attitudes towards museum displays of human remains, and questions the ethics of excavating, storing, researching and displaying human remains.

The first phase saw two separate Adult Education groups (Chesterfield & Bolsover) undertake six months of class-based sessions, open discussions and field visits to archaeological sites and local museums that display human remains.

Phase Two will see a number of workshops that will explore specific themes, such as Studying Human Remains, Mortuary Archaeology & Introduction to Osteoarchaeology.

Two workshops were held at Creswell Crags in June, led by Dr. Lauren McIntyre.

The next sessions will be held in October – details to follow shortly.






Phase Three will see two further groups take part in the introductory modules, and further workshop sessions take place. These will start in early 2016.

One of these is now confirmed:

Archaeology of Human Remains (Part One)

Fridays 10am-12noon, (starting 8th January 2016) Southwell Library, King Street, Southwell.

Beyond this, we are exploring the potential for a longer research project that explores human remains from specific local sites and the possibility of creating a community-led public exhibition based on these.


 Artwork by German artist Clara Steudel

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3 thoughts on “Bones of Contention

  1. Pingback: Bones of Contention project | MBArchaeology

  2. Looks really interesting.
    Is booking a place on the Bolsover course through you or the Library?
    Please save me copies of these publications.
    Best wishes,

    • Hello Brenda,

      Yes, you can book a place for the Human Remains course at Bolsover through me – its filling up so let me know if you decide to sign up!

      Regards, Matt

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