As a consequence, death cannot separate the body from consciousness.The dead are still integrated within the community and are still considered as persons (ibid: 7).At the opposite end of the extreme, Animism shows no contrast between the mind and the body rather they are one, in unison and in harmony.

cambodian dating traditions-9

This view ‘came to be the philosophical foundation of Enlightenment knowledge and of the practice of ‘Science’ from the seventeenth century onwards’, guiding the disciplines of archaeology and museology; (2) Materialism: only Body or Matter exists.

‘Philosophy and science had become largely materialist and continue to do so today’; (3) Idealism: Only Mind or spirit exists, everything else is an illusion.

In my reflection of the topic, I shall discuss two other issues concerning the dead: the photograph and circulation of their images online and in the media and the relationship of displaying of human remains, which are victims of recent genocide, to tourism. In 1998, the Museum of London held the exhibition , showcasing a large collection of more than eighteen thousand human skeletal remains from the Museum’s archaeology division (Swain 2002: 98).

The purpose was to prove how Londoners have changed appearance through time with evidence from the archaeological record (ibid).

Human remains are studied in order to understand past health and diseases, cause of death, nature of the surrounding environment, what their diets were, glimpse of the climate, etc. In medical and scientific terms, the study of medieval, historic and pre-historic skeletal remains can help us prevent outbreaks of deadly diseases today and may even assist us in finding cures to some diseases (ibid).

On the other hand, Native Americans, Australian Aborigines and British Pagans insist that we treat human remains with respect by repatriating them and their grave goods to their original communities to rebury them (Bain and Wallis 2006; Davis 1998/9).

Because of this, ‘archaeology, as an archetypal dualistic/materialistic practice, treats dead bodies as ‘things’, for its own ends.

And so, on the whole, do museums’ (Bienkowski 2006: 7).

Pagans are coined as ‘new indigenes’ by Bain and Wallis (2006: 4) due to their shared worldviews with indigenous peoples, ‘whose re-enchantment practices involve engaging with nature as alive with spirits… The idea of personhood and the lack of it are also quite important.