Tony Platt
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Bitter legacies
A war of extermination, grave looting, and culture wars in the American West

Focussing on the exhumation of Native American gravesites in the American West in the 20th century, the chapter presents a counter-narrative to many of the prevailing assumptions surrounding the exhumation of the dead: that the descendants, biological and cultural, of the victims of mass crimes of genocide and violence want their ancestors to be traced, exhumed, identified, named, and publicly acknowledged.

But to understand the history of this region’s bitter legacies requires a larger context and backstory, one in which archaeological-scientific abuse was one of three interrelated catastrophes that indigenous people experienced.

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Human remains and identification

Mass violence, genocide, and the ‘forensic turn’


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