Brains, Bones, and Graves

in The Skull Collectors

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780226233482
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226233499 | DOI:
Brains, Bones, and Graves

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This chapter discusses the impact of the American Civil War on skull collection in the United States. It explains that the grim toll of the Civil War overwhelmed the country's customary ways of handling the dead, providing craniologists with a good supply of white men's skulls. But the wartime impulse to measure bodies and the postwar push to sort corpses and number the dead had very different consequences for Native Americans, particularly those on the western plains.

Keywords: American Civil War; skull collection; dead; craniologists; white men's skulls; Native Americans

Chapter.  6492 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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