Monday, 7 February 2011

Write to your MP

Please write to your MP and to Kenneth Clarke, Secretary of State for Justice to complain about the 2008 reburial legislation. Here is a sample letter - please add your own thoughts:

I am writing in support of the letter from forty professors of archaeology regarding the 2008 reburial legislation in The Guardian on 4 February 2011.

I am a member of an organisation called Pagans for Archaeology. We're Pagans who love archaeology and believe that it has contributed hugely to our knowledge of our ancestors and the religions of the past. Without archaeology, people would have little or no understanding of the peoples of the past. Pagans for Archaeology has more members than any other group purporting to represent Pagans on the issue of human remains (we currently have 3855 members).

We are opposed to the reburial of ancient human remains, and want them to be preserved so that the memory of the ancestors can be perpetuated and rescued from oblivion, and the remains can be studied scientifically for the benefit of everyone. We want human remains to be treated with respect, but respect does not automatically mean reburial. Respect should mean memory, which involves recovering the stories of past people. The British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology has a code of practice for handling and storing human remains, which is very respectful.

I would support a return to the simple, well-tried system practised up to 2008 which permitted the retention, study, curation and display of excavated remains as appropriate.

Yours sincerely
[Your name]
Member of Pagans for Archaeology

You can find contact details for your MP and Kenneth Clarke at (don't paste an identical copy of my sample letter into Write To Them, as they block identical emails).

ASDS Archaeologists and the 1857 Burial Act
This website provides a background document, a letter to archaeologists and a template and instructions that can be used to send a letter to Ken Clarke. Please send your support for the campaign against the two-year reburial legislation to the government. Please also cc or forward your email to as ASDS are attempting to document the whole thing.

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