The Moon over a minaret of the grand Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan.
AP Photo/Anjum Naveed
Two scholars who study death rituals explain that the corpse is considered spiritually polluting in many religious traditions, while the Moon holds a sacred place.
Forensic anthropologists can be called in when human remains are discovered.
Ashley Cooper/The Image Bank via Getty Images
Forensic anthropologists are specialized scientists who analyze the skeletal remains of the recently deceased to help authorities figure out who the person was and what happened to them.
A facial reconstruction of one of the Sutherland Nine, a woman named Saartje.
Reconstruction by Dr Kathryn Smith/Professor Caroline Wilkinson
Hopefully more curators and custodians of repositories of human skeletal remains will attempt to redress some of the wrongs of the past.
Burial land is running low in certain parts of the world. It’s about time we started to consider the environmental cost of our final resting place.
A march following the return of Patrice Lumumba’s tooth from Belgium – all that is left of the anti-colonialist icon murdered in 1961.
Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images
All that remains of the political icon is a tooth, but it represents much more than just a human trophy.
Chairperson of AIATSIS Jodie Sizer, daughter of the late Sir Robert Menzies Heather Henderson, Jenny Morrison, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and CEO of AIATSIS Craig Ritchie look at Indigenous artefacts at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra.
Lukas Coch/AAP Image
The proposed National Resting Place in Canberra will be a vital step towards a more complete telling of this nation’s story.
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
Proposed legislation would identify and protect African American cemeteries. But it wouldn’t cover the remains of thousands of Black people in museum collections.
The mortuary in Girona, Spain, one of the countries hardest hit by coronaviurs.
Marti Navarro/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
An expert on forensic science explains the critical role of coroners and pathologists in the COVID-19 crisis, as many cities struggle to manage the soaring number of dead bodies.
When the University of Cape Town discovered skeletons in its archive that had been unethically obtained and used, they set about restoring justice to the bones and the community they came from.
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades.
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.
The Real Bodies exhibition in Sydney has come under fire for uncertainty over the origins of its remains.
MICK TSIKAS/AAP Image
Protesters have urged a boycott of Sydney’s current Real Bodies exhibition, over claims that it could display remains of executed Chinese political prisoners.
Who gets to decide for the dead, such as this Egyptian mummy?
AP Photo/Ric Feld
Are DNA samples today’s version of the human skeletons that hung in 20th-century natural history museums? They can provide genetic revelations about our species’ history – but at an ethical price.
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
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?
A morbid curiosity makes it hard not to be fascinated.
You don’t have to be a physician or anatomist to be curious about how bodies work. Exhibits of dead human specimens have been around for quite a while – capitalizing on our fascination with death.