Ancient Britons


Honouring Our Ancestors By Remembering Them

Articles and Essays

An Alternative Theology of Reburial

Funerary Practices

The Place and Manner of Ritual in the Reburial Debate

Reburial: the options

Respect


Useful Links

Pagans for Archaeology

THE alternative voice to HAD, if you agree in part or largely with my opinions and views I strongly recommend visitng PFA and offering your support. They also have a Yahoo group.

Pagan Theologies

Specifically, theologies dealing with human remains from a pagan perspective.

Honouring the Ancient Dead

Whilst in principle I agree with much of what HAD stand for, there are a number of significant points I disagree with them on. Those will be discussed elsewhere.

 

 

 

This is the skull of a child's skeleton found near Avebury (Wilts.) She is currently on display at the museum in Avebury. 'Charlie' was about 4 years old when she died and was buried by her people on Windmill Hill nearly 5,000 years ago during what we call the Neolithic. The Neolithic people were responsible for building places like Avebury and West Kennet long barrow. Whilst we cannot know everything of what they believed, it is a good and educated guess that ancestor worship was prominently involved.

 

In Britain today there are thousands of human remains in museums; complete skeletons down to individual toe bones. We have a large collection of human bones that provide us with a window in the ancient past of these Islands and the people who lived here. The wealth of information such remains provide for us is astronomical; from dietary habits to age, from disease to the movements of the person throughout thier lifetime. We have clues as to how they lived, what they believed, thier home life and how they died. All of this comes through the excavation of human remains and thier study. It doesnt end there, because we can not only learn this information in a scientific sense but also by the use of displays and exhibitions we can disseminate all of this information to the public - regardless of thier belief - so that they can learn about the people who have shared this landscape and who are in a very real sense, our ancestors.

There are people and organisations out there who have taken a very strong interest in these 'pagan' human remains. Groups like HAD, PFA and CoBDO-west (see here, responses to which are here and here) are calling for greater respect and consideration when it comes to excavation, storage and display of the remains or total reburial (in the case of CoBDO-west). Pagans for Archaeology on the other hand views the work of archaeologists as hugely important in terms of informing our modern pagan practice and educating (= remembering) about the ancestors. I am a member and full supporter of PFA.

My opinion, which I believe I share with a significant proportion of modern pagans in Britain, is that repsectful treatment and storage of remains is a must. However, it is also of the utmost importance that we maintain the opportunity to learn from them both in terms of academic research and public educations though displays and exhibits.

The aim of this website is to give my differing opinion to much of what is surrently out there on the internet by organisations like HAD and CoBDO-west. To offer thoughts, comments and opinions which at times compliment the aims of HAD but also at times go against them for a number of reasons.

 

If you have comments, thoughts or ever essays/articles you would like included on this site, please contanct me at the email address at the bottom of the page.