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‘Sacred’ sites, artefacts and museum collections: Pagan engagements with archaeology in Britain

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces key issues raised by pagan engagements with sites, beginning with Stonehenge and Avebury, including recent updates to the circumstances there, moving on to recent work on the significance of museum collection displays to pagans, and concluding with developments on the politics of respect for human remains and calls for their reburial. Pagan engagements with the past are diverse: for some, there is little direct or sustained connection made beyond such labels as, for instance, Celtic Magic; for others, Margaret Murrays erroneous claims for a witch cult in Western Europe persisting from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages is evidence enough of the tradition of Wicca.

Keywords: archaeology; Avebury; Britain; museum collections; Paganism; Stonehenge



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