The Scientists' Side of the Controversy

Many in the scientific community have a problem with the trend towards indiscriminant repatriation and reburial.

Buffalo Village
A mid-17th century stockaded village on the Kanawha River in Putnam County. Advocacy groups want to rebury hundreds of individuals recovered during excavations in the 1960s, one of the largest prehistoric populations in the East. A Charleston Gazette writer bought into the idea and published a 5-part series, reprinted here with his epilogue.

Why preserve human remains for future study?
A Council member argues for preservation of ancient remains using examples of what has been learned, and what has been lost.

Spoilheap's Human Bones Page
Spoilheap is a nicely put together site by Sue Anderson, a physical anthropologist working in Suffolk, UK. This section of her web page explains why careful examination of human remains provides significant information about past populations. She includes a gallery of photographs showing pathologies and bone traumas from archaeological collections.

Another section of her site, "Skeletons in the cupboard: what a human bone specialist can tell from your bones" is a briefer treatment of the same topic.

Society for American Archaeology Bulletin
The opposing opinions of two professional archaeologists on reburials.
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NAGPRA - the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (1990)
Some websites discussing NAGPRA.
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Future Additions:

Common pro-reburial rhetoric
And the response.

What is "respectful treatment?"
It depends.

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