Each year the remains of hundreds of American Indians, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians, along with artifacts such as potsherds and arrowheads, are discovered across the United States. As many as 600,000 aboriginal remains are currently held by museums, historical societies, universities, and private collections. To the scientific community they provide vital data for the study of human evolution. To many members of aboriginal communities, however, they are powerful spiritual and political symbols. The controversy over the disposition of aboriginal remains and grave gods lies at the heart of the ethnic conflict between aboriginal populations and European-American society. Disturbed by the looting of graves for artifacts, the maintenance of collections of remains for study and display to the public, and the disruption of ancestral graves in general, aborigines have sought recourse in the courts and the legislature. In "Disputing the Dead," H. Marcus Price, III, explores the social processes at work as parties on both sides of the conflict manoeuver in the legal arena. This book compiles all relevant federal and state laws concerning the disposition of aboriginal remains. Price describes the laws themselves, the constitutional issues involved, the policies of federal agencies, and the practical application of the laws. An appendix contains a useful chart that allows for easy comparison among states concerning several basic issues of law. Price's book sheds new light on the role of law in social change and the mechanics of dispute resolution. His investigation of this conflict in America will serve as a model for the study of the complex social dynamics between ethnic minorities and dominant populations. General readers interested in this subject will find concise, well-organized background material. For all the attorneys, educators, social activists, administrators, and legislators who are touched by the controversy, "Disputing the Dead" should be of value.