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Museums across the U.S., including at Harvard University, collected human remains, which were often displayed to the public. Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos via Getty Images

US museums hold the remains of thousands of Black people

Proposed legislation would identify and protect African American cemeteries. But it wouldn’t cover the remains of thousands of Black people in museum collections.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades. Duckworth Laboratory

Ancient DNA is a powerful tool for studying the past – when archaeologists and geneticists work together

Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
This clay facial reconstruction of Kennewick Man, carefully sculpted around the morphological features of his skull, suggests how he may have looked alive nearly 9,000 years ago. Brittney Tatchell, Smithsonian Institution

Kennewick Man will be reburied, but quandaries around human remains won’t

A 9,000-year-old skeleton became a high-profile and highly contested case for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. How do we respectfully deal with ancient human remains?

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