Re: Early Amerind assimilation (Was: Re: Romans in the New World?)

Mary Beth Williams (
7 Aug 1996 14:43:21 GMT

In <> "Wayne R. Foote" <> writes:
>Mary Beth Williams wrote:
> > Hence, it becomes very important for
>> the physical anthropologist to have direct access to the remains in
>> question. THAT is why I have made such a fuss over the availability
>> European/African remains, which, unlike Native American remains, are
>> seldom left on institutional shelves for future anthropologists to
>> study.
>> MB Williams
>> Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst
>> MB Williams
>The issue of reinterment of human remains seems to be very emotional
>to many. As a professional are you advocating rapid reinterment of
>all remains, treatment of European/African remains as Native American
>remains are presently treated, or some other alternative?
>In asking this question it is not my purpose to make you the target of
>on faction or the other. I hope it dosn't work out that way. My aim
>to explore this issue. I am not an archaeologist, but this is
>a legislative issue that will not be determined by archaeolgists.

I believe the issue should be left up to the descendants, or in their
absence, to the closest related descendants. Under NAGPRA, some
Indians have demanded that remains be immediately interred, others have
not (including some with whom I have worked.) I believe non-Indian
descendants should have the same rights and perogatives.

I think that its important to note that one of the biggest supporters
of NAGPRA is the Christian Coalition, who are staunchly for
reinternment of all remains, and against any future disinternment,
accidental or otherwise.

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst