Human skulls from Africa investigated by international team in Berlin

BERLIN (dpa)- A major investigation into the origin of more than 1,100 human skulls brought to Germany from Africa has begun, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation announced Thursday.
The exact source of the skulls is unknown, although they are thought to be from German East Africa, the former colony that now includes the countries of Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.

German scientists will collaborate with experts from the three African nations.
The skulls come from the early 20th collection of German doctor and anthropologist Felix von Luschan. He intended to use them in his study of human development.
Since then they have been in the possession of, amongst other institutions, the medical history museum of Berlin's Charite hospital.
Now the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has assumed responsibility for their study.
They are part of a wider collection of around 5,500 skulls whose origins - from Egypt and Central and South America - are already known.
The skulls could be repatriated if deemed appropriate.
For example, project manager Bernhard Heeb said that if the skulls turned out to be colonial-era execution victims, repatriation would come under discussion. So far, he stressed, there were no signs this was the case.

Sunday, October 8th 2017

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