Curation of Human Skeletal Remains and Bioarchaeological Practice in Greek Context

Author(s): Eleanna Prevedorou; Jane Buikstra

Year: 2017


Human skeletal remains constitute perhaps the most sensitive archaeological material, both biologically and socioculturally. Their recovery, preservation, curation, storage, and analysis are complex issues that need to be addressed within any given biocultural context. Given the country’s geography and the long history of human occupation, Greek field archaeology is intense and ongoing, as part of either rescue excavations or academic research projects. Graves, cemeteries, and human skeletal remains are, thus, a frequent occurrence in excavations throughout Greece, resulting in the accumulation of osteological material. Aspects like insufficient time, funding, and documentation in the field, lack of appropriate containers and storage space, as well as the time gap between excavation and analysis become a common challenge. Here, we give an overview of excavation, preservation, conservation, and curation processes and we discuss bioarchaeological practice within a Greek archaeological framework. We then focus upon the newly launched project on the extensive Phaleron cemetery in Athens, in order to present examples and methodological approaches. Finally, we consider the role of collaborative projects and nonprofit institutions, such as the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, in advising, managing large-scale bioarchaeological assemblages, and serving long-term preservation goals in Greece.

Cite this Record

Curation of Human Skeletal Remains and Bioarchaeological Practice in Greek Context. Eleanna Prevedorou, Jane Buikstra. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431467)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15945