Osteological Collections


The first osteological collections were accessioned to the Harvard Peabody Museum in 1867, the year of its founding. The Peabody Museum's osteological collections now derive from more than eighty countries on six continents, largely from archaeological contexts, and include human and nonhuman primate remains, fossils, and casts. The map below illustrates the geographical distribution of the collection.


 Greater than 500 records      100-500 records     50-100 records        Less than 50 records

More about the Osteological Collections


Discover more about the Peabody Museum's most important osteological holdings.

Guide to the Osteological Collections Online

Approximately 600,000 database records are accessible through the Peabody Museum  Collections online. Learn how to find the osteological collections that interest you.


Find out about ongoing projects and how to conduct research here.

Teaching & Outreach

See how the Osteology Department works with Harvard classes, interns, and the broader community.


NAGPRA & Repatriation

Learn about the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the museum's engagement with contemporary Native American communities.







The Museum also has sizeable anatomical teaching and hominid cast collections. The hominid casts are curated in the Paleoanthropology LaboratoryOsteology projects include faculty, staff, and student research; student internships; and curation of collections.