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Ethics and Burial Archaeology sets a new agenda for ethical studies in mortuary investigation, adducing a series of case studies which can be used to understand the questions facing burial archaeology. Who owns the dead – not just their bodies but also their stories? Do the remains themselves matter or are there other political agendas which influence interest groups? The author encourages archaeologists to be more open and inclusive when conducting mortuary projects, as it is often the perception of secrecy or interference with the dead that raises concern about the treatment of historical and scientifically important skeletal remains.
Duncan Sayer is Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). He is co-editor of Mortuary Practice and Social Identities in the Middle Ages (2009) and a founding member of the Association for the Study of Death and Society.