Honouring the Ancient Dead

Honouring the Ancient Dead are an organisation committed to ensuring respect for ancient pagan remains. Over the last two years the organisation has been compiling an online database of human remains in UK collections, particuarly focusing on those of British origin

Worcester City Museums have recently submitted details of the remains within their collections for inclusion in this valuable resource. The museum currently holds a collection of human remains of around 80 individuals within its archaeology and ethnography collections. The remains are mainly incomplete skeletons, some disarticulated remains and a number of cremations. The majority come from sites in and around Worcester including Deansway, Blackfriars, Lich Street, Broad Street, Broadway, Worcester Technical College and the Kings School. The collection includes  Roman pagan burials and cremations, Medieval and Post Medieval burials and Saxon Christian burials. It is the museum’s intention to manage these collections in a sensitive and ethical manner that gives due consideration to the cultural, archaeological, historical, scientific and research importance that the specimens embody.

Worcester City Museums are  working through a project to upgrade both the storage and understanding of this collection following the publication in 2005 of the DCMS ‘Guidance for the Care of Human Remains in Museums.’ An Equality Impact Assessment has also been carried out to assess the likely impact that this collection may have on our users.

Honouring the Ancient Dead’s database of human remains in UK collections can be found at www.honour.org.uk/ylm.

For more information regarding the human remains cared for by Worcester City Museums please contact Deborah Fox at museumcollections@worcestershire.gov.uk

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