A solution for the permanent storage of historical skeletal remains tor research purposes: A South Australian precedent that keeps most people happy

18th November 2013

A concrete tank used as a crypt at St Marys CHurch, Adelaide (published in Australian Archaeology 58:17).

A concrete tank used as a crypt at St Marys CHurch, Adelaide (published in Australian Archaeology 58:17).

Tim Anson and Maciej Henneberg

Archaeological excavations in the mid-19th century cemetery of the Anglican Church of St Mary’s in Adelaide resulted in the recovery of 70 human skeletons. Following a period of time for osteological analyses, the remains were to be re-interred in the church cemetery. Osteological examinations revealed good preservation and a variety of pathologies. The re-burial of collections such as this effectively means that they are permanently lost to science. As a consequence efforts were made by the researchers to avoid the loss of the collection and negotiations with the Church led to the creation of a storage facility in the grounds of the Church. A 13,640-litre concrete rainwater tank was buried and modified internally to accommodate the skeletal collection. This approach was found to be both cost effective and ethically acceptable to all parties involved.

Anson, T. and M. Henneberg
A solution for the permanent storage of historical skeletal remains tor research purposes: A South Australian precedent that keeps most people happy
2004
58
15–18
Article
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