Provenance Research on the Origin of Human Remains at Freie Universität Berlin’s Institute of Biology was presented to the public
News from Jan 19, 2023
For a long time, human remains were used in universities for teaching purposes. Freie Universität Berlin also harbors such human remains, however, their origin is insufficiently known. Through the initiative of the human biology teaching staff, a project to elucidate the provenance of these human remains was formed at the Institute of Biology at the Department for Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy. Since the start of the project, human remains are no longer being used for teaching purposes as long as ethical questions surrounding their origins are unanswered. The project has revealed that two of the human remains under investigation most likely came from the “Luschan Collection,” and were thus likely a result of colonial injustice. In July 2022, these human remains were transferred to the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum of Prehistory and Early History), an institution that falls under the umbrella of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation). There, provenance research is being carried out on the human remains in the Luschan Collection. The provenance research project at Freie Universität Berlin’s Institute of Biology was presented to the public on January 17, 2023.