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Druid leader calls for Judicial Review on excavation of remains
DRUID leader King Arthur Pendragon went to The Royal Courts of Justice in London last week in a bid to see the return of cremated human remains taken from Stonehenge in 2008.
The Senior Druid and Pagan Priest presented a 36-page document asking for a Judicial Review on the decision by the Minister of Justice to grant Sheffield University an extension to retain the remains for five years.
King Arthur said: ‘This is not just a Druid or Pagan issue, and we have the support of thousands of people from all walks of life from nations around the world and all the major faiths, who have signed our petition demanding that the remains be re-interred at what should have been their final resting place.
‘The remains will never go on display and they should just be reburied.’ The remains were removed from the site for tests to be carried out as part of The Stonehenge Riverside Archaeological Project.
The project, supported by National Geographic under the leadership of Professor Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield, has led to new insights into the possible uses of the site.
Radiocarbon dating of human cremation burials at the ancient monument suggested it was used as a cemetery from its inception just after 3000BC until well after the large stones went up around 2500BC.
Many archaeologists previously believed people had been buried at Stonehenge only between 2700 and 2600BC, before the large Sarsen stones were raised and the new dates provide strong clues about the original purpose of the monument.
English Heritage, which manages the site, has said permission for excavation is only given when the applicant can show the benefits in increased knowledge are likely to outweigh the damage done by the work and that the excavation of Human remains is regulated under the Burial Act.
But the Druids say they will not rest until the remains have been once again laid to rest.
Frank Somers of Aes Dana Grove and The British Druid Association, said: “We shall pursue every avenue open to us within the law to ensure the timely return of our ancestors.
“We will never tire and we will never cease.”