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Forgotten heroes: design and production of a public engagement and display strategy for a historic skeletal collection.

Seal, K., 2021. Forgotten heroes: design and production of a public engagement and display strategy for a historic skeletal collection. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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Abstract

This project considers multiple concerns and perspectives regarding the design and execution of a structured museum exhibition aimed at bringing a historic skeletal collection to the attention of varied public audiences. The collection comprises of individuals who were likely all Naval seamen excavated from the cemetery of the former Royal Naval Hospital at Plymouth (1762-1995). The burials were discovered due to redevelopment works and were excavated in 2007 by Exeter Archaeology. At the time, approximately 160 articulated and partially articulated skeletons were exhumed. Of these, 151 were sufficiently well preserved to make up the surviving Plymouth assemblage. The first part of the current research included analysing ninety-one articulated individuals and selecting fifteen out of the sample to construct osteobiographies on the chosen individuals. The chosen individual’s range in age, ancestry, and stature, and some have pathological conditions or traumatic injuries, which was the basis for selecting these individuals. The osteobiographies include using a range of non-metric and metric techniques to assess age, sex, stature, ancestry and pathology. The second part of this project involved planning and organising a temporary museum exhibition open to the general public, which took place in May-July 2021, at the Atrium Gallery at Bournemouth University. The creation of this exhibition included writing simplified versions of the osteobiographies in a form accessible to the general public for when the remains are placed on display. Simplifying the osteobiographies is vital to be readable to the public, and the stories of these forgotten sailors can finally be on display. In the form of the submitted MRes thesis, the written aspects of the project also embed the project within current museological literature to situate the creation of the exhibition within contemporary theory on the management of cultural heritage. This important collection presented an opportunity both to engage the public regarding a specific historical period and also to illustrate the unique contribution human remains can make to our understanding of the past.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:maritime; osteology; museum; archaeology; Admiral Nelson; British Navy; Plymouth
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:36409
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:21 Dec 2021 12:21
Last Modified:21 Dec 2021 12:21

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