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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Anthropologica & Prehistorica / ANTHROPOLOGICA ET PREHISTORICA / Bibliographic references / 'Alleen voor studiedoeleinden' (For study purposes only): The human remains trade on

Damien Huffer, Jaime Simons, Tom Brughmans, and Shawn Graham (2022)

'Alleen voor studiedoeleinden' (For study purposes only): The human remains trade on

Anthropologica et Praehistorica, 131:179-194.

This article presents an initial qualitative and quantitative investigation of that portion of the global human remains trade that exists on the Netherlands-based e-commerce platform We assess prices and associated metadata in a database of 236 examples of complete or partial human skulls, isolated elements, ‘ethnographica’ incorporating human remains and miscellaneous items collected from August 2017 through April 2021. Evaluated in the context of a discussion of legislation governing the sale, use and transport of human remains in the Netherlands and Belgium, we present data pertaining to total price variation per year and the geographic distribution (by province) of the geolocation tags included with each post evaluated against the category of human remains being offered. Our results indicate a diversity of human remains offered on the platform, including alleged archaeological and ethnographic items, and distinct patterning in their distribution. Given the legislative landscape, the results presented, and that is the oldest and most frequently used secondhand e-commerce platform in the Netherlands (and shows significant use within the Flanders region of Belgium as well), we conclude with policy recommendations that, we feel, would enable the platform to curtail such trafficking if so chosen.
Belgium; the Netherlands; e-commerce; human remains; illicit trafficking.



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Editors in Chief:
Dr. Anne Hauzeur
Dr. Kevin Salesse
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

ISSN 1377-5723 (printed version)

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