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It’s Time to Talk: Navigating the Complexities of Working with Multiple Stakeholders at the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily

SQUIRES, Kirsty and Piombino-Mascali, Dario (2022) It’s Time to Talk: Navigating the Complexities of Working with Multiple Stakeholders at the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily. In: 23rd Paleopathology Association European Meeting, August 25-29, 2022. Vilnius, Lithuania. Vilnius University Proceedings . Vilnius University Press.

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Abstract or description

The largest collection of mummified human remains (n=1,284) in Europe can be found in the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo (Sicily). The site holds great socio-cultural significance to the city as it shows how ideological beliefs, social attitudes, and culture have changed over time. Given the importance of the Catacombs, multiple stakeholders (e.g. the Capuchin Friars, descendants of the dead, cultural heritage bodies, researchers, and tourists) dictate the way in which the deceased are curated and analysed by scientists. The lack of investment, combined with the varied interests of each stakeholder, can make decision-making and the operation of the Catacombs challenging. This paper will explore the difficulties involved in the curation and analysis of human remains at a cultural site. Through the use of case studies, we will demonstrate the importance of collaboration and regular, transparent communication between all involved in decision making processes at the site. This is integral to the preservation of the mummies and ability to analyse the individuals for the purpose of scientific research at a cultural heritage site, whilst ensuring the beliefs and wishes of the deceased and their families are respected.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethics, mummy studies, public archaeology
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Forensic Sciences and Policing
Event Title: 23rd Paleopathology Association European Meeting
Event Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Event Dates: 25-29 August 2022
Depositing User: Kirsty SQUIRES
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2022 14:38
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 14:04

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