Monday, March 03, 2008

a tiny window of opportunity

Anger as burial site digs are blocked | Science | The Observer
Archaeologists complain that new restrictions will hamper study of our ancestors' skulls and bones
Two months is a ridiculously short time to allow archaeologists to have access to bones before reburying them. It probably wouldn't be enough time to get all the paperwork sorted out! Surely even the people who are really keen on reburial would want to allow a longer amount of time than that for archaeologists to be able to study the bones.
'People think archaeologists go around digging up the dead wherever they want,'... [said David Miles, the chief archaeological adviser to English Heritage]. 'We don't. Usually we are called in because a new railway, motorway, house, supermarket or church extension is being constructed. Buried humans are found and we are asked to deal with them. We then use these skulls and bones to learn about our ancestors. The Ministry of Justice is now stopping us from doing that any more.'
Personally, I want archaeologists to have access to bones, so that we can find out more about our ancestors and how they lived, and by remembering them, honour them.

2 comments:

Pitch313 said...

Is this time limt imposed because the bones will be re-buried in the original site? Has the time limit been imposed in order to keep some construction project on schedule?

You'd think that, if the bones were removed from a site, and re-buried at a suitable location elsewhere, that a longer time period to study them could be allowed.

Yvonne said...

I really don't know - it's bizarre.