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Zoe Crossland
Zoe Crossland
Associate Professor of Archaeology, Anthropology Department, Columbia University
Bring up the Bodies: The Archaeology of Dissection and Autopsy
Bring up the Bodies: The Archaeology of Dissection and Autopsy
The early 19th century saw a plague of body snatching in Britain and the United States: corpses were exhumed in secret for sale to medical schools, where they would be dissected by students. Horrified family members tried to protect the graves and burial places of their relatives, but in this clandestine economy, the bodies of the poor and disenfranchised were the most vulnerable to being stolen. Archaeological evidence of human remains from cemeteries and medical facilities shows the different kinds of postmortem examination that took place, as well as the efforts made to disguise it. In this talk, Professor Crossland will discuss about how the treatment of these dead bodies was influenced by the social status of the living. Under what circumstances was postmortem investigation acceptable? What lessons can we take from this sordid history for the treatment of the dead today? All this remains to be uncovered in Crossland's lecture...
Wythe Hotel
80 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
Bio
Zoe Crossland teaches at Columbia University's department of Anthropology. Her interests lie in semiotic archaeology, and archaeologies of death and the body. She writes on Madagascar, forensics, and historic burial practices in the United Kingdom. Crossland also focuses on historical archaeology, and the archaeology of the contemporary past, examining how clashing beliefs and practices are negotiated.