This volume and its companion examine current and future trends in studies of archaeological human remains. The papers address the influences that different geopolitical contexts have on the study of this category of archaeological material and how such remains are used to address broader anthropological issues. Throughout both volumes, the themes of race and colonialism appear in every paper. Case studies include countries that were colonisers though the majority are post-colonial societies. Both imperial powers and imperial subjects were transformed by the colonial relationship, albeit in different ways. Science played an active role in this process both as a means of legitimising subordination and as a manifestation of power. Contrasting narratives have emerged from China and Russia that assert that studies of variation there were carried out in a spirit of egalitarianism. Both volumes chart the role of institutions and elites in the development of research into archaeological human bone, the influence of the state over those institutions and the manipulation of science by those in positions of power.