Monday, 14 September 2009

Enemies of reason

I've been debating on a online forum with the leader of the group called

They stand for the reburial of human remains because it is a "desecration".
This small tradition called paganism had a even smaller tradition called Druids and within this small tradition has a small group who want the remains reburied.
The leader Frank said I was dishonouring and desecrating the ancestors because it's my view that these bones could lead us to have more knowledge about them and to hold onto the bones for future work when and if new technology becomes available.
How do we know we are "desecrating" their graves? We don't know anything about their theology.
The view of desecration comes from modern values, it is not their views as we have no evidence.
If they want real change that effects everyone then I want real evidence that this is desecration.
The reason they are protesting is because their feelings have been hurt.
Should a very small minorities beliefs affect the rest of the population? Should we deny everyone's right to have knowledge of their own history just because a few people feelings are being hurt?
Should we waiver to every single belief just because it might offend? What would the world look like?it would be like treading on egg shells.
I've found this group and other like them to be a huge embarrassment, they write to English Heritage complaining that their " ancestors "have not been reburied. They use threatening language when other pagans have opposing views to theirs calling us "pagans"dishonourable and lack respect for our ancestors and will be excommunicated. Saying that Pagans for archaeology are using mis-information, but when asked for references none are given.
I would like this message to go out to all the archaeologist that it's only a very small minority who have this view, some of us are undecided and some of us support your work.


  1. the level of idiocy and reasoning on that site is eye boggling.

  2. I suppose we should clap ourselves on the back for having developed our very own form of fundamentalism. Sigh. Well done you though for taking them on. (As Lee and I have too in our separate ways). Do join Yewtree's site Pagans For Archaeology if you haven't already---it's a group which in part campaigns against the likes of HAD and these goons, arguing that increasingly archaeological knowledge and memory are the best reverence we can pay to our ancestors.

  3. Thanks Bo. Yep I'm following PFA on the blog and on Facebook. Your right that these people are fundamentalists. It's best to weed them out early before they cause too much damage.

  4. Nicely said, and I’m glad I’m no longer the only one saying it.

    I thought your title was appropriate considering the madly-misshapen social science which some would masquerade as history.

  5. Stonehenge druids are linked to this bag of ferrets

  6. Sorry link doesn't work. Another link to the mad bag of ferrets

  7. The Stonehenge Druids are not linked to the stonehengepeace group. You should read our news page covering reburial in which we explicitely state that we support the study of these ancestral remains but once this study is completed with samples retained for future analysis, then we believe that they should be reburied in sealed containers. You mislead others by suggesting that this approach would obstruct the science. You mislead yourselves if you think that disturbing the graves of anyone from anytime or from any tradition does not desecrate the sacred peace of their resting place. How can you seriously suggest that actually revering the ancestors and believing in the old gods is fundamentalism? I call it faith.

  8. Frank, I think my reply is worthy of a new blog post.