Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Murray K. Marks

Committee Members

Walter E. Klippel, John Neff, Michael H. Logan


New and amended cultural resource laws are changing the academic and scientific landscape of North American bioarchaeology and archaeology. The passage of the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act in 1990 was an important watershed event in the history of the discipline of biological anthropology, and the increasingly successful utilization of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act by federally recognized sovereign tribes is resulting in unanticipated legal restrictions on the scientific collection of bioarchaeological data from American Indian skeletal remains and mortuary site settings.

The evolving relationship between bioarchaeologists and American Indians is examined in the context of understanding these implemented changes to both the discipline of biological anthropology and the culture of modern American Indians, vis a' vis the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This study provides a historical perspective of this relationship, and challenges bioarchaeologists to adapt their approach to understanding these cultures by using new scientific paradigms drawing upon collaborative efforts with tribal communities.

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