Friday, March 23, 2007

finding a compromise

My new article has now been posted on the Honouring the Ancient Dead website:

Finding a Compromise – Keeping Places

in which I propose that keeping places would be a good compromise solution for the controversy over what to do with ancient human remains, so that archaeologists could still have access to them, but they would be in a sacred space, consecrated by Pagans. I also put forward some cheaper compromise options which might be a bit more realistic.

UPDATE 3-3-2008: The article has now been removed from the HAD website, so I have posted it at

UPDATE 29-5-2008: Ah, apologies to HAD, it turns out that they had merely moved the article, so it is available from their articles page.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

my personal view

I personally think that the archaeological value of human remains is equally as important as their spiritual value, and I think the archaeological insights we can gain from them contribute to their spiritual value.

I think that the spiritual, artistic, and archaeological views of the remains should be given equal consideration. This implies to me that a compromise solution is the best one.

But in any consideration of the responsibilities we owe to the dead, perpetuating (or restoring) the memory of them is just as important to many people as respecting the integrity of their burial, and I think archaeology contributes massively to restoring the memory of the ancient dead.

I also think that there are other issues we should be worrying about right now, like climate change, the war in Iraq, nuclear proliferation, and so on.