World Archaeological Congress


Newsletter: Volume 27 April 2009

Contributions to the next WAC Newsletter due 18th May 2009

Archaeologists Without Borders Workshop

Report on the website of the World Archaeological Congress

Archaeologies of Art Podcast Series Launched!

Call for WAC members to nominate Indigenous people

World Archaeological Congress honors Larry Zimmerman

Dr Andree Rosenfeld

Recommendation on ERA Draft Quality Ranking

WAC-6 Media Releases

WAC-6 Closing Ceremony Speech

Portuguese WAC-6 Media Releases

German WAC-6 Media Releases

Spanish WAC-6 Media Releases

Turkish WAC-6 Media Releases

Czech. WAC-6 Media Release on Iran



World Archaeological Congress

The repatriation of ancestral remains

Centre for Cross-Cultural Research
Canberra, Australia
8-10 July, 2005

Co-hosted by
Centre for Cross-Cultural Research and the
National Museum of Australia

The Meanings and Values of Repatriation
a Multidisciplinary Conference

The past fifteen years have witnessed a revolution in relations between Indigenous peoples and Australian museums, characterized by recognition of and respect for Indigenous rights and obligations in respect of cultural property. Acknowledgement of Indigenous obligations and customary law in respect of the dead has resulted in various initiatives by museums and state agencies to resolve the fate of Indigenous human remains and grave goods acquired during the colonial era. However, these initiatives have had the effect of throwing into sharp relief challenges that Indigenous peoples and museums face in seeking to work together to resolve the fate of remains.

This WAC Inter-Congress has the following aims:

  • To examine critically the successes and failures of efforts to resolve the fate of Indigenous ancestral remains acquired from Australian and overseas museums and scientific institutions.
  • To assess repatriation policies and practices in the light of Indigenous community experiences of repatriation.
  • To address the problems of identifying and repatriating ancestral remains located in European and other overseas collections, especially in the light of scientific reluctance and resistance to recognize the rights and obligations of Indigenous people in respect of the dead and their possessions.

For further information, contact :

Paul Turnbull

Griffith University

Michael Pickering

National Museum of Australia



Freedom Park