The Human Body For Education

1844 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 8 Pages
Numerous museums around the world hold and care for human remains. Museum collections containing human remains are intended for educational purposes, whether they be cultural or scientific. However, this practice also objectifies human remains. By displaying bodies or parts of bodies alongside manufactured artifacts, museums are dehumanizing what were once people. In place, they gain the status of objects. This research paper will explore how human remains came to be viewed as objects and how museums today should display remains in a way that does not objectify them and respects the culture they represent. To accomplish this, the two differing sides, that of the museum and that of the respective culture the human remains represent, must be evaluated. The intention is to develop a way to both display the human body for education and study while also treating it and its cultural heritage humanely. Human remains within museums, no mater whether the culture or religion has gone extinct, should be separated from manufactured objects when being displayed. To be truly respectful of human life, museums must dedicate a specific space to human remains separate from objects aside from those used in the burial rites.
Attitudes towards the display of human remains have been altered over the course of history. Originally religion dictated the fate of human remains and a deeply rooted belief in the afterlife prompted burial. However, during the scientific revolution and Age of…

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