The Forensics of Commodification: Examples from Louisiana of the Acquisition, Analysis, and Legal Problems Related to Trophy Skulls Seized from Illegal Sales
Since the inception of the Louisiana Department of Justice’s human remains acquisition program in 2007, two Tibetan kapalas have been recovered from illegal sales. This commodification of human remains constitutes technical violations of the law, but the nature of the remains makes for an awkward fit to the existing laws. The forensic, bioarchaeological, and cultural analysis of these remains are difficult due to their altered nature, leading to problems of disposition. Questions inherent in the disposition of these remains include: have these human remains been ritually transformed into religious relics to which the law forbidding remains trafficking no longer applies? if such law does apply, what is a proper disposition of such remains? These questions and a review of the two acquired specimens are the subject of this presentation.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
Cite this Record
The Forensics of Commodification: Examples from Louisiana of the Acquisition, Analysis, and Legal Problems Related to Trophy Skulls Seized from Illegal Sales. Ryan Seidemann, Christine Halling. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395384)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;