The memory of bones

Science at the service of history

science and historical memory Alex Frances

In memory of José Delfín Villalaín Blanco, Professor of Legal Medicine of the University of Valencia.

Science, especially social science and forensics, plays an essential role in our interpretation of the past, from the most ancient to the most recent. Human bones are not only the essential trace of who our ancestors once were, but also a memory repository that cannot and must not be forgotten.

The well-known phrase «those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it» is essentially the cornerstone of this monograph, which offers a multidisciplinary overview of a diverse historical memory, analysed from different but complementary scientific perspectives, where history, archaeology, physical anthropology, forensic medicine, criminalistics, and genetics, among other sciences, intertwine to shed light and evidential value on heterogeneous facts based on the biological vestiges of the past.

In the following pages, we propose a diachronic journey from ancient times to the present. The different authors approach history from twenty-first century lines of research, and bioanthropological and genetic heritage is the subject of the different studies, as well as the vehicle for understanding the memory of past societies.

© Mètode 2019 - 101. The memory of bones - Online only (2019)
PhD in Archaeology from the University of Valencia, university expert in forensic anthropology at the Complutense University of Madrid, and researcher for Grupo Paleolab®, a multidisciplinary team dedicated to the bioanthropological study of archaeological human remains, the forensic anthropology of human rights, and science communication (Spain). Mail: grupopaleolab@gmail.com
PhD in Medicine from the University of Alacant, expert in Forensic Anthropology at the Complutense University of Madrid, associate researcher for Grupo Paleolab®, and forensic medical doctor and anthropologist attached to the Anthropology and Forensic Dentistry Unit of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Valencia (Spain). He is a tenure-track 2 lecturer on Criminology at the Catholic University of Valencia within the Criminology degree-course.