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Repatriation and reburial of human remains

The repatriation and reburial of human remains is a current debate in archeology . Various indigenous peoples around the world, Such As Native Americans and Indigenous Australians -have requested That human remains from Their respective communities be repatriated for reburial. A famous case is that of the Kennewick Man in the United States. Similarly, Druids have requested the reburial of ancient human remains in the British Isles . [1]

Repatriation in general Seems to be Concerned with objects, in the broadest sense of the word, ranging from human remains to art repatriation . But it actually is about people in the present and their perception of the past in the present. Repatriation claims are linked to politics, ethnic identity, and other debates or problems in contemporary society.

Ethical considerations

The controversy comes from the fact that it is disrespectful to the dead and to their contemporary descendants for their remains to be displayed in a museum or stored in other ways. [2]

The trauma of history

The first and foremost undercurrent of repatriation is the treatment of people in the past, the repatriation of human remains is a part of a healing process bandaging the traumas of history. [3] In essence, it is important that this treatment is addressed to the repatriation and reburial of it remains essentially to the world as a reminder of that part of the object’s history or biography. Repatriation also presents an opportunity for people to make a claim to their own past and is not a part of their cultural heritage. The basis of the study is as follows: [4]

The challenge of ownership of human remains in museums and other institutions, and demands of cultural return is largely fuzzled by the difference in the handling of ‘white’ and indigenous remains. Where the train was reburied the latter were subjects of study and eventually ending up in museums. In a sense, one of the cultural groups assumes the right to carry out scientific research into another cultural group. [5] This disrespectful unequal treatment stems from a time when race and cultural differences had huge social implications. These are changing the aftermath of centuries of inequality can not be corrected so easily. This frustration is what we have in the last 30 years. [6]The “traumas of history” can be addressed by reconciliation, repatriation and formal governmental apologies disapproving of conduct in the past by the institutions they now represent. A good example of a repatriation case, where a large group of massacred Indians is returned to their tribe, showing the healing power of the repatriation gesture. [7]

Druids and human remains

The Neo-druidic movement is a modern religion, with some groups dating back to the 18th century and others in the 20th century. They are generally inspired by Victorian-era ideas of the druids of the Iron Age , or later neopaganmovements. Some practice ancestor veneration , and because of this they believe that they have a responsibility to care for the ancient dead where they now live. In 2006 Paul Davies requested that the Alexander Keiller Museum in Avebury , Wiltshire rebury their Neolithic human remains, and that storing and displaying them was “immoral and disrespectful”. citation needed] The National Trust refused to allow reburial, goal DID allow for Neo-druids to perform a healing ritual in the museum. [8]

The archaeological community has the following criticism of the Neo-Druids, making statements such as “no single modern ethnic group”. [9] An argument proposed by archaeologists is that,

“Druids are not the only people who have feelings about human remains … We do not know much about the religious beliefs of these [Prehistoric] people, they know they want to be remembered, their stories, mounds and monuments show this Their families have long gone, taking care of them, and bringing them back to the world. Reburying human remains destroys people and casts them into oblivion: this is at best, misguided, and at worse cruel. ” [10]

See also

  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

References

  1. Jump up^ “Archeology Live, English Heritage repatriation request notes. ” A test case for the Druids to gain a precedent for more than the British Isles [sic] “ ” . Archived from the original on 26 June 2013 . Retrieved 30 May 2013 .
  2. Jump up^ Scarre and Scarre (2006). The ethics of archeology: philosophical perspectives on archaeological practice, p. 206-208. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-54942-6.
  3. Jump up^ Hubert, J. and C. Fforde (2002). Introduction: The reburial issue in the twenty first century. In:The dead and their possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice.C. Fforde, J. Hubert and P. Turnbull (Ed). Routledge, London and New York, p. 1.ISBN 0-415-34449-2.
  4. Jump up^ Hubert, J. and C. Fforde (2002). Introduction: The reburial issue in the twenty first century. In:The dead and their possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice.C. Fforde, J. Hubert and P. Turnbull (Ed). Routledge, London and New York, p. 2.ISBN 0-415-34449-2.
  5. Jump up^ Hubert, J. and C. Fforde (2002). Introduction: The reburial issue in the twenty first century. In:The dead and their possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice.C. Fforde, J. Hubert and P. Turnbull (Ed). Routledge, London and New York, p. 1-3. ISBN 0-415-34449-2.
  6. Jump up^ Hubert, J. and C. Fforde (2002). Introduction: The reburial issue in the twenty first century. In:The dead and their possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice.C. Fforde, J. Hubert and P. Turnbull (Ed). Routledge, London and New York, p. 1.ISBN 0-415-34449-2.
  7. Jump up^ Thornton, R. (2002). Repatriation as healing the wounds of the trauma of history: cases of Native Americans in the United States of America. In:The dead and their possessions: repatriation in principle, policy and practice. C. Fforde, J. Hubert and P. Turnbull (Ed). London and New York Routledge 17-25. ISBN 0-415-34449-2.
  8. Jump up^ “Consultation on ancient human remains ends Jan 31”. British Archeology (104). 2009.
  9. Jump up^ “Letters: Human Remains”. British Archeology (105). 2009.
  10. Jump up^ “Letters: Human Remains”. British Archeology (105). 2009.

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