A particular heritage: The importance of identified osteological collections

Ana Luisa Santos


One of the main pillars of bioanthropological studies are identified osteological collections. The goal of this article is to describe this heritage and show its importance. Since the nineteenth century, several countries have collected sets of skulls and skeletons from people for whom we have some biographical data; among other details, their age and sex at death. There are currently around fifty collections in different countries in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Their research has applications in the study of human evolution, past populations, palaeopathology, and the history of medicine, among others. The need to increase the number of individuals and extend the geographic distribution of such samples has led to the continuous development of these collections. 


physical and biological anthropology; forensic anthropology; skeletal biology; palaeopathology; history of medicine

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.10.13711


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