COMMENT: The pagan priest is right. The dead should be allowed to rest in peace, however long ago they were buried. If it is absolutely necessary to investigate their remains then it should all be done in sutu and as quickly as possible.

Full story at THE BBC.



  1. Very good to see that he respects the ancestors. Well done indeed. This is completely proper (and absolutely crucial to pagan spirituality) for any pagan, priest or not. I salute him.

    That said…and this has gotten me in trouble before…I wonder if he would have made better headway if he’d attended the hearing in 21st century garb, not white robes and all that. I know this will sound terribly shallow, but to me, there comes a point when a person in his position has to ask himself, “Is this about attention for me and my lovely white robes, or is this about accomplishing my purpose, which is to ensure that our ancestors’ remains are returned to their burial sites and treated with dignity?”

    I’m curious as to how the English tend to view folks when they choose to express themselves in an unusual way like this. Americans would likely think “this guy is a complete nutbar” and totally dismiss him.

  2. PS: There is something that Pendragon or any pagan priest can do for the remains of the ancestors when the graves are exhumed. Attend the exhumation and speak a blessing over the remains, and dedicate the research work beign done on them to some deity of wisdom and truth, such as Odin or Frigg, etc. Given that he lost his case, this may be the only option left to him and pagans like him.

    Just a thought.

  3. We wouldn’t choose to use the word “nutbar” (nutcase is more English) but the sentiments would be exactly the same. We do love our eccentrics but in a patronising way.

  4. With all due respect, there’s an enormous amount of research that cannot be done in situ, or quickly. If human remains are discovered and will be removed to a laboratory for further study, I’m in complete agreement with the idea of a priest (pagan, Catholic, or Anglican, depending on the time period) offering a prayer or blessing; but to then hurry the research in order to re-bury the remains is wrong.

    Also, in the last decade or two, the amount of information that can be gained from studying remains has increased dramatically. It is now possible–with enough time and money–to investigate region of birth, diet, disease, genetic relationships, a host of other factors, and who-knows-what a decade from now, which would be lost to a hasty reburial. No, I’m glad your Druid lost his case.

  5. I disagree. Although samples might have to be sent to specialist labs, most work can be done in situ. It just costs a lot more money to set up the facilities. We have to ask ourselves, is it worth the money? If removing the bones is going to lead to a cure for cancer, fair enough. But, if it is just a matter of idle curiosity then we should be more respectful of the remains and those among the living (the majority of the world’s population) who believe disinterment to be sacrilegious.