Little has been written about the roles of conservators in regard to the preservation of human remains. This article examines the new challenges that face conservators as we become more involved with human remains under the new laws and approaches that protect indigenous community rights. The authors explore three areas critical to this debate, namely conservation expertise, training and outreach. Three scenarios for the conservator's role are presented. The authors suggest conservators should aim for the third role, that of 'contributing colleague', especially in the multidisciplinary and highly sensitive area involving the study of human remains. Also presented is a case study involving teamwork with the Kennewick Man remains. Though the discussion is limited to applications of preservation issues to human remains, the concepts have wider applications in the conservation field in general.
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