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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

 

Human remains
Policy

 

 

The British Museum has developed a policy with regard to the human remains in its collection that follows the recommendations of the Code of Practice published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in October 2005. The DCMS Code of Practice was itself developed to provide guidance to museums in relation to the provisions of the Human Tissue Act 2004.

While the Human Tissue Act 2004 gave the Trustees of the British Museum the power to deaccession human remains, the Trustees’ primary legal duty is to safeguard the Museum’s collection for the benefit of present and future generations. This policy sets out the circumstances in which the Trustees may consider a request for the de-accession and transfer of human remains; and gives guidance on the procedures to be followed by those seeking to submit a claim for the return of human remains in the British Museum collection that are less than one thousand years old to a community of origin.

The policy also outlines the principles governing the respectful and lawful holding, display, study and care of human remains in the British Museum’s collection.


Human remains

Claims on Human Remains in the British Museum

From 1995 until the passing of the Human Tissue Act into law, there were six approaches to the British Museum from organisations making claims against human remains in the Museum collection.

 

Date

November 1997

1997-98

November 1998

August 2001

December 2001

 

May 2002

Claimant Body

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

Haida Nation band council

Te Papa/Museum of New Zealand

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Repeat Request

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC – defunct Australian government agency)

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Repeat Request

Material claimed

Two cremation ash bundles from Tasmania

Human skull

Maori Tatooed heads (mokomokai)

Two cremation ash bundles from Tasmania

Australian human remains

 

Two cremation ash bundles from Tasmania

 

Since the relevant section 47 of the Human Tissue Act 2004 came into force in 2005, the Museum has received two approaches which have been considered by Trustees, in accordance with the Trustees’ Human Remains policy.

 

Date

July 2005

 

May 2011

Claimant Body

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre in association with the Australian government

Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners in association with the Australian government

Material claimed

Two cremation ash bundles from Tasmania

 

Two modified skulls

 

Please note: four of the eight claims listed above have been made by or with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, submitting repeat requests for the same material.