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Ethical challenges in the bioanthropological and biomedical investigation of Sicilian mummies: past experience and future pathways

SQUIRES, Kirsty, Piombino-Mascali, Dario and Zink, Albert (2024) Ethical challenges in the bioanthropological and biomedical investigation of Sicilian mummies: past experience and future pathways. American Journal of Biological Anthropology. ISSN 2692-7691

Piombino‐Mascali et al. 2024 Ethical challenges in the bioanthropological and biomed in Sicily.pdf - Publisher's typeset copy
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Abstract or description

This article presents a multidisciplinary approach adopted in the Sicily mummy project, highlighting unique challenges and major ethical concerns inherent to the scientific study, conservation, and presentation of these mummies. Recognizing mummies as a distinct category of human remains, this paper argues for the development and application of specialized guidelines that address the intricate balance between scientific inquiry and respect for the cultural, religious, and mortuary practices that characterize the cultural context, in this case of Sicily. Through a transparent and collaborative dialogue among all stakeholders—including curators, clergy, scientists, and government officials—the project ensures the preservation of the mummies' dignity within their sacred spaces. The critical role of biological anthropologists is emphasized, alongside the contributions of clinical radiologists, pathologists, and qualified restorers, in constructing a comprehensive understanding of the mummies' biocultural significance. The paper advocates for a bioarchaeological strategy that advances scientific knowledge while safeguarding the mummies and respecting living communities. Additionally, we call for ethical rigor in scholarly publications and suggest future actions to protect this invaluable heritage. This approach not only preserves the dignity and integrity of the mummified remains but also enriches our understanding of past human societies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mummies, heritage, dignity, death, bioarcheology; ethics
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Forensic Sciences and Policing
Depositing User: Kirsty SQUIRES
Date Deposited: 20 May 2024 15:15
Last Modified: 20 May 2024 15:15
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