Acquisition and Disposition Problems and Experiences Policing the Online Marketplace for Human Remains

  • Ryan M. SeidemannEmail author
  • William T. Hawkins


Although it may come as a surprise to many, the buying and selling of human remains are a brisk business in the online marketplace. In many states, Louisiana included, this type of commerce is restricted under most circumstances. However, the advent of the Internet Age has provided marketplaces that allow such commerce to circumvent local laws. In some situations, the human remains sold are merely teaching specimens. However, in other instances, the remains are looted from cemeteries and archaeological sites, and their transformation from the mortal remains of human beings into a commodity threaten the integrity of such marketplaces, disrespect for the living and the dead, and diminish the numbers of specimens available for teaching and research purposes. This series of case reports summarizes recent efforts to stem the tide of the trade in human remains in Louisiana and contains lessons learned and recommendations for other jurisdictions facing similar problems.


eBay Human remains Ecommerce NAGPRA Voodoo 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Louisiana Department of JusticeBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Independent ResearcherLos AngelesUSA

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