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Book: The Public Archaeology of Death

Chapter: Photographing the Dead: Images in Public Mortuary Archaeology

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.34666


This chapter explores the visual use of human remains within popular archaeological magazines. Despite the abundant debates on issues such as the disinterment, treatment and presentation of human remains to the public, the widespread use of photographs of the dead within archaeological publications aimed at broad audiences still remains uninvestigated. Photographs can be a powerful tool and they can be used for several purposes, causing different reactions in the reader. They can have educational and scientific purposes and they can fascinate or have a disturbing effect on the public. This paper will explore the presence and use of photographs of human remains in two year-long samples of two archaeological magazines: Current Archaeology and Current World Archaeology.

Chapter Contributors

  • Chiara Bolchini ( - cbolchini)