Anatomy and Histology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Anatomy and Histology

​​​​​Biological Anthropology
​Studies on the health status of skeletal remains (bone and teeth) give insight of the standard of living of past populations and have value to descendants living today. The Kirsten Anthropology Research Unit contains a comprehensive skeletal collection housed at the Division of Anatomy and Histology that offers opportunities to study physical properties of individuals populating the Western Cape. The cadaver-derived skeletal remains in this collection are currently one of the best collections for analyses of the descendants of the mixed population group which are distinctive with ancestral origin from many regions in the world. 
For any enquiries about the Biological Anthropology Unit, please contact Mrs Linda Greyling or Mrs Mandi Alblas

Kirsten Skeletal Collection

Human skeletal collections with known records are a source of valuable research and teaching material in physical and biological anthropology. Skeletal collections provide both regional and population-specific referencing standards used in physical measurements and observations.  This provides an indispensable source of reference for forensic identification. The Kirsten Collection, curated in the Division of Anatomy and Histology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, comprises the largest documented cadaver-derived Cape Coloured skeletal collection in the World.  They represent individuals from the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Records available for these skeletons include year of birth and death, composition of age and ancestry, place acquired from, and last place of residence, indicating that at least 87% of the individuals are from low SES areas around the Western Cape.

For any enquiries about accessing the Kirsten Skeletal Collection, please contact Mrs Mandi Alblas

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Forensic Anthropology
​The Kirsten Anthropology Research Unit report on the biological profile or population demographics of unknown skeletal remains to the Forensic Pathology Services of Cape Town as well as the Victim Identification Centre of SAPS. For any enquiries about forensic application of biological anthropology, please contact Mrs Mandi Alblas.