The repatriation of human remains – problem or opportunity?

Bibliographic Information

Article Title

The repatriation of human remains – problem or opportunity?

Journal Title

Antiquity

Author(s)

Smith, Laurajane

Month of Publication

June

Year of Publication

2004

Volume Number

78

Issue Number

300

Article Pages

404-413

Web Address (URL)

https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00113043

Additional Information

Available Through

CambridgeCore

Language

English

Notes

Abstract: The editor’s question “who do human skeletons belong to?” (Antiquity 78: 5) can be answered positively, but it must be answered in context. The question was prompted by reports from the Working Group on Human Remains established by the British government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2001 to review the current legal status of human remains held in all publicly funded museums and galleries, and to consider and review submissions on the issue of the return of non-UK human remains to their descendent communities (DCMS 2003: 1-8). In effect, the report was primarily concerned with human remains from Indigenous communities, using a definition which follows the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as “distinct cultural groups having a historical continuity with pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories” (DCMS 2003:7). Consequently, the report deals primarily with the Indigenous communities of Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Additional tags: colonialism; Indigenous communities; human remains

Taxonomies

RPA Codes & Standards

Keywords & Terms

Topics & Issues