Aleš Hrdlička - Controversy & Criticism

Controversy & Criticism

More recently, Hrdlicka's methods have come under scrutiny and criticism with regard to his treatment of Native American remains. An AP newswire article, "Mexico Indian Remains Returned From NY For Burial" from November 17, 2009, recounted his study of Mexico's tribal races, including the beheading of still-decomposing victims of a massacre of Yaqui Indians and removing the flesh from the skulls as part of these studies. He also threw out the corpse of an infant that was found in a cradleboard but forwarded this artifact along with the skulls and other remains to New York's American Museum of Natural History. While these practices are not inconsistent with other ethnographers and human origin researchers of that era, the moral and ethical ramifications of these research practices continues to be debated today.

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