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Invasive Methods in Bioarchaeology: An Ethical issue? A Case Study from St. Matthew’s Cemetery, Québec

Author(s): Emeline Raguin

Year: 2014

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Summary

Bioarcheology is the study of human skeletal remains whose purpose is to provide biological, cultural and environmental information on past population. Thus, new specialized techniques and methodological approaches have been developed in order to get information on bone that are not possible to obtain using traditional methods. Unfortunately, many of these techniques, such as bone histology, are invasive: they will irreversibly alter the integrity of the bones. Ethical issues become important for bioarcheologists, particularly since no specific rules or even guidelines exist to guide the researchers and the involved communities. Many ethical issues arise from the lack of understanding of 1) the concerns of the communities involved by the scientists and 2) the scientific endeavours of the researchers by the communities. In this context, the study of St. Matthew’s cemetery (1771-1860) provides a positive example where invasive research can be conducted within a context of mutual understanding.


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Invasive Methods in Bioarchaeology: An Ethical issue? A Case Study from St. Matthew’s Cemetery, Québec. Emeline Raguin. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436849)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-32,08

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America