Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stonehenge: Druid loses human rights battle over reburial of 5,000 year old remains

Anyone familiar with British Archaeology, and in particular Stonehenge, will have heard of the famous Druid, King Arthur Pendragon. Quite the character, he has been featured on countless news outlets over the years.

His latest battle at the the High Courts in London was rejected. Mr. Pendragon asked that remains uncovered in 2008 be denied further scientific study and return for burial at Stonehenge. Representing himself, Mr. Pendragon claimed that the bodies represented the 'founding fathers' of the British nation, that they hold a special place of respect and deserve, like any human remains, to rest undisturbed, 'Let those we lay to rest, stay in rest'.

A judicial review action was denied to Mr. Pendragon by Mr. Justice Wyn Williams based on insufficient evidence that the Ministry of Justice have acted unreasonably. Mr. Pendragon subsequently called for a 'Day of Action' at Stonehenge.

Mr. Pendragon's arguments, while not of the highest legal calibre, do generate debate on the topic of exhumation and reburial. The ethics of how to deal with human remains are often overlooked by archaeologists, but there is always room for and a need for debate on the subject to ensure ethical progress within the discipline.

More on this story here, here, here and here.

No comments:

Post a Comment