The symposium, organised by the AMU’s Faculty of Medical and Paramedical Sciences in collaboration with the ADES Joint Research Unit, marks the 20th anniversary of the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe.

Please see the presentations below for more information:

The Faculty of Medical and Paramedical Sciences is part of the University of Aix-Marseille, one of the largest universities in France. According to the Shanghai 2022 ranking, the University of Aix-Marseille is one of the 150 best universities in the world.

Since 2009, Professor Georges LEONETTI, a forensic doctor, has headed the Faculty.

It is a unique structure at national level, developing a transversal approach and dedicated to training for the professions of tomorrow. It is recognised for its academic excellence and cutting-edge research in the fields of medicine, health and paramedical sciences.

It is organised around the triple challenge of education, research and care. It has more than 17,000 students per year in 224 courses.

It is composed of five schools: Medicine, Dentistry, Midwifery, Rehabilitation Sciences, Nursing Sciences and a Masters Department.

This structure, which is designed to make paramedical training easier to understand, also allows certain courses to be shared. Students are trained in a transversal approach to their future professions in order to learn to work together in a complementary way. Some courses also offer teaching through simulation and by putting students in situations using innovative equipment.

Thanks to the partnership with the Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM), students practise cutting-edge medicine and have access to the latest advances in biomedical research.

There are also 18 joint research units, including ADES, and renowned centres and groups, particularly in cancer, neuroscience and public health.

Joint Research Unit 7268 ADES (Biocultural Anthropology, Law, Ethics and Health) is a multidisciplinary unit whose common research objective is to understand the biocultural complexity of humanity, in particular through the prism of “the human body and biomaterials in their diversity, representations and uses”, using a diachronic and synchronic approach.

It explores this field from the perspective of scientists from different disciplinary backgrounds (ethnology, health anthropology, philosophy, ethics, forensic medicine, dentistry, medical imaging, law, biology, medicine…).

This research is facilitated by the fact that ADES is located in one of the largest universities, which provides valuable exchanges with numerous specialists and access to various platforms. It is also facilitated by the presence of an osteotheque with nearly 10,000 skeletons, a biology laboratory, the Aix-en-Provence Health Law Centre and an ethics room, a real place for interdisciplinary meetings and exchanges as well as public and civic debates.

This research is divided into 3 teams: “Bio-anthropology of the Bone: Nature, Evolution, Societies” (“BONES”), “Bodies, Norms and Health” and “Blood Cell Biology and Anthropology”.


 Presentation of the research teams

  •  Bio-anthropology of the Bone: Nature, Evolution, Societies (“BONES”)

Directed by Pr. Pascal Adalian, it brings together doctoral students, research engineers, researchers, teacher-researchers, hospital practitioners and experts in the biological, human, social and medical sciences who are interested in understanding the specificities and technical and biological characteristics of bone material, as well as the social, funerary, scientific or patrimonial uses to which anthropobiological remains can be put.

 The research carried out by the BONES team is developed within a broad multidisciplinary framework involving archaeology (archaeothanatology, funerary archaeology), forensic anthropology, biological and social anthropology, palaeomicrobiology, palaeopathology and palaeoanthropology.

The current studies are thus organised around three main axes: An osteo-biographical axis (which aims to develop an evolutionary and biocultural reading of anthropo-biological remains), a thanatological axis (open to the questioning of taphonomic processes and funerary practices, especially those carried out in the context of mortality crises), and a methodological axis, which aims to develop new procedures to make the reading of bone fragments more reliable and to improve the interpretation of the contexts in which we can study “death and the dead”.

  • Blood Cell Biology and Anthropology

Directed by Dr Wassim El Nemer, it brings together doctoral students, research engineers, technicians, researchers, teacher-researchers and hospital practitioners from the biological and medical sciences who are interested in understanding the specificities and biological characteristics of blood cells and the blood groups carried on their surface, from an anthropological and biomedical perspective.

Through its membership of the Établissement Français du Sang (French Blood Establishment) and its collaboration with local and national clinical teams, the team draws on biological collections and rare blood samples to develop its research projects within a multidisciplinary framework, integrating biological anthropology, molecular and cellular biology and clinical research.

  • Bodies, Norms and Health

The research of Team 2 “Body, norms, health” has in common that it approaches the body from two sides: on the one hand as a “body-object” and on the other hand as a “body-subject”. The vulnerable, painful, aged, handicapped, epidemic body is placed in a care space, cared for by health professionals in institutions on which it becomes dependent.