Type of Work

Research Paper - Limited Access

Publication Date



Communities can establish links to their past, cultural identities and heritage, and future through their environment and the artifacts that remain. For the mining communities in rural Southern Transylvania, their cultural heritage and identities are rooted in the development of traditional lifeways, which can be observed in prehistoric burials. In an effort to preserve their cultural heritage, the local mining community plans to create an on-site museum in Râmeţ. In this paper, I examine the display and preservation of cultural heritage in different types of museums worldwide and how different museums interact and collaborate with local communities differently. As human remains can be part of a community's cultural heritage, I also explore the ethics of displaying human remains in museums and practices for creating exhibits containing human remains and associated artifacts. The display of the burial mounds and the human remains in the on-site museum can be helpful in the promotion of the cultural heritage of the region and the preservation of the landscape. However, the museum must be by and for the community as the communities should serve as protectors of their own cultural heritage; thus, they should be the ones to decide how they wish to preserve and display the history of their region. The museum in Râmeţ will preserve the cultural heritage of the region and the traditional lifeways through the display of the landscape and human remains and also provide a way for the local communities to advocate for themselves and preserve their knowledge for future generations.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Group

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Colin Quinn