Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Honouring the Ancient Dead

We are giving all the royalties arising from the sale of The Wanton Green to this organisation, so it seems right to offer some more information about HAD...

Honouring the Ancient Dead is a British network organisation set up to ensure respect for ancient pagan human remains and related artefacts. HAD was established in May 2004, initially in response to negotiations following the Public Enquiry into proposed road developments at Stonehenge, Wiltshire.

HAD's main aim is to be a rational voice for those Pagan groups and individuals who are concerned about the care of ancient human remains in Britain, ensuring inclusion in any consultation and decision-making processes.  Key areas of interest are how archaeologists, museums and government departments care for ancient human remains, through exhumation, study, storage and display, with a parallel focus on issues of repatriation (within Britain) and reburial.
The full text of HAD's Statement of Intent may be found at  http://www.honour.org.uk/node/5

Whom HAD represents
HAD is fundamentally inspired by and rooted within the modern British Pagan community and its many spiritual, religious and philosophical perspectives.  As such a diverse community, however, it is difficult for any organisation to claim that it represents Paganism.  Addressing this issue, HAD does not represent a membership of individuals or groups for whom it speaks and to whom it is then accountable.  Instead HAD is representative of British Paganisms.  It achieves this through its structure: its Council, its advisors, its volunteers and its ability to access and listen to the many networks of Pagans whom it consults.  It is the weaving of all these voices that gives HAD its clear strong voice.

A personal note; a group of us were involved in a ceremony at Manchester Museum a couple of years ago to honour one of our Unburied Dead. Lindow Man, an Iron Age Celt found in the peat bogs of east Cheshire in the 1980s, was brought back to Manchester for a year from the British Museum. The story of that ceremony is for another time but, this image of the offerings brought by the company can close this entry with brightness and the promise of growth and life. Gordon 

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