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The Duckworth Laboratory

Duckworth Collection Catalogue

The Duckworth Collection is the result of over 200 years of collecting carried out by different individuals and institutions and by different means of acquisition. Because of its long and complex history, the original records of the acquisition of each individual or group of remains vary significantly in quality and extent. Most of these original records are in the form of lists of remains contained in 19th century hand-written notebooks, loose pieces of paper, lists of remains transferred from the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology in the early 20th century, and accession books kept by D.W.L. Duckworth. Many of these were copied at later dates, and the fidelity of such copies is not always perfect, adding a level of uncertainty to the original information. Furthermore, the various re-housing and re-boxing of the remains, as well as un-returned loans, means that not all the items listed in the original notebooks are still physically part of the Collection.

The information from the original notebooks, log books and accession books is being transcribed into electronic form. Simultaneously, the content of all boxes is being checked, with the aim of cross-checking the historical and physical record of all the human remains in the Collection. Until such a date as this inventory is complete it is not possible to know with absolute certainty the total number of individuals whose remains are part of the Collection. At present, it is estimated that the Duckworth Collection holds the remains of approximately 18,000 people, mostly from Britain and Egypt.

Please, direct any enquiries to duckworth@human-evol.cam.ac.uk.







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