From respect to reburial: negotiating pagan interest in prehistoric human remains in Britain, through the Avebury consultation

WALLIS, Robert J and BLAIN, Jenny (2011). From respect to reburial: negotiating pagan interest in prehistoric human remains in Britain, through the Avebury consultation. Public Archaeology, 10 (1), 23-45.

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Official URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/pua
Link to published version:: 10.1179/175355311X12991501673186

Abstract

The recent Avebury Consultation on reburial has drawn considerable public and professional attention to the issue of pagan calls for respect towards the care of human remains. Our work has pointed to the importance of archaeologists and others engaging seriously and respectfully with pagans as significant stakeholders in our heritage. The Avebury Reburial Consultation suggests this dialogue is increasing in strength, but we identify problems in the process. We focus here on approaches to the prehistoric dead and worldviews enabling communication from which calls or ‘claims’ for the reburial of prehistoric pagan human remains, versus their retention for scientific study, are articulated; frameworks for assessing and adjudicating such ‘claims’; and implications for the interest groups concerned. We argue that room must be made for philosophical debate and the emotional and spiritual views of pagans, in order to improve dialogue, develop common ground, and enable participatory decision-making and situational pragmatism.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
Identification Number: 10.1179/175355311X12991501673186
Depositing User: Jenny Blain
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2011 13:13
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 07:30
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3606

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