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The manifold materialities of human remains
Claudia Fonseca
Rodrigo Grazinoli Garrido

In this article we explore the relational materiality of fragments of human cadavers used to produce DNA profiles of the unidentified dead at a forensic genetics police laboratory in Rio de Janeiro. Our point of departure is an apparently simple problem: how to discard already tested materials in order to open up physical space for incoming tissue samples. However, during our study we found that transforming human tissues and bone fragments into disposable trash requires a tremendous institutional investment of energy, involving negotiations with public health authorities, criminal courts and public burial grounds. The dilemma confronted by the forensic genetic lab suggests not only how some fragments are endowed with more personhood than others, but also how the very distinction between human remains and trash depends on a patchwork of multiple logics that does not necessarily perform according to well-established or predictable scripts.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Abstract only
Rick Peterson

been a complex and multi-stranded process (Cummings and Harris 2011, 371–375). Some groups of people in any given area may have continued to hunt and gather, while others began to farm. Other groups may have returned to hunting or adopted pastoralism but relied on exchange networks which included arable farmers. Therefore, it is necessary to look at cave burial practice around the fourth millennium BC through the types of relational, material and embodied narratives discussed in Chapter 4. By understanding the detailed history of each site, we can start to understand

in Neolithic cave burials
Rick Peterson

all the regions of Britain with suitable caves shows that cave burial must have formed a significant strand in Neolithic funerary practice. Working from the standpoint that most of the human remains were the result of deliberate multi-stage collective burials (in common with other Neolithic human remains), then I have argued that the most effective way to understand how the intermediary period worked is to look for relational material evidence. This evidence shows how the social implications of death for the living, the biological agency of decomposition in the dead

in Neolithic cave burials