Associate Curator of Bioarchaeology Dr. James T. Watson welcomes students of all ages into ASM's human osteology laboratory (skulls shown are plastic models)

ASM Bioarchaeologists:

  • train university students through classroom instruction, laboratory training, and field work.
  • provide professional services to public and private institutions across the state in order to facilitate compliance with state and federal laws regarding the recovery, documentation, treatment, and repatriation of human remains.
  • manage the preservation of an archaeological collection of human skeletal remains. Under certain and specific circumstances these collections can be made available for legitimate scientific research.

    Research Requests

    Proposal guidelines for scientific study and access to ASM's human skeletal collection are contained in this document:  Access to the Human Skeletal Collection

    Research is largely conducted in the Human Osteology Laboratory, located on the third floor of ASM North. The lab is equipped with abundant table space, an anatomical comparative collection, standard osteological measurement equipment (various calipers and osteometric boards), a digitizer, computer and internet access, and natural or artificial lighting.

    Special arrangements can be made to accommodate specific equipment. Researchers are welcome to use the ASM library’s photocopy machine. There is a charge of $.10 per page for copies. Museum staff do not process photocopy requests. 

    Useful Resources for Researchers

    Distinguishing Human From Non-Human Animal Bone (Note: this document contains photographs of human and animal remains that some might find disturbing)
    ASM Burial Record Form
    ASM Osteology Recording Packet


    James Watson, Ph.D.
    Associate Curator of Bioarchaeology
    Arizona State Museum / University of Arizona
    P.O. Box 210026
    Tucson, AZ 85721-0026
    See Dr. Watson's Profile

    See also Repatriation