The Bioarchaeology of Dissection and Autopsy in the United States

  • Kenneth C. Nystrom

Part of the Bioarchaeology and Social Theory book series (BST)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Kenneth C. Nystrom
    Pages 1-22
  3. Evidence from Early Colonial America

  4. Evidence from Public Cemeteries

  5. Evidence from Medical Institutions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 113-113
    2. Christina J. Hodge, Jane Lyden Rousseau, Michèle E. Morgan
      Pages 115-142
    3. Douglas W. Owsley, Karin S. Bruwelheide, Richard L. Jantz, Jodi L. Koste, Merry Outlaw
      Pages 143-164
    4. Jennifer L. Muller, Kristen E. Pearlstein, Carlina de la Cova
      Pages 185-201
  6. Evidence from Almshouse Cemeteries

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 345-346

About this book


Encountering evidence of postmortem examinations - dissection or autopsy- in historic skeletal collections is relatively rare, but recently there has been an increase in the number of reported instances. The Bioarchaeology of Dissection and Autopsy brings together in a single volume the skeletal evidence of postmortem examination in the United States. Ranging from the early colonial period to the early 1900’s, from a coffeehouse at Colonial Williamsburg to a Quaker burial vault in lower Manhattan, the contributions to this volume demonstrate the interpretive significance of a historically and theoretically contextualized bioarchaeology. The authors employ a wide range of perspectives, demonstrating how bioarchaeological evidence can be used to address a wide range of themes including social identity and marginalization, racialization, the nature of the body and fragmentation, and the emergence of medical practice and authority in the United States.


Early evidence of dissection and autopsy Evidence from medical institutions and Almshouse cemeteries History of postmortem examinations in the United States Medical education and the utilization of cadavers Postmortem examinations and social identity Skeletal evidence of dissection and autopsy

Editors and affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Nystrom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyState University of New York at New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-26834-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-26836-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2567-6776
  • Series Online ISSN 2567-6814
  • Buy this book on publisher's site