Human and Civil Rights, Archaeology, and Spiritual Practice

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Archaeology and spiritual practice occasionally come into conflict with each other; particularly when spiritual practitioners want to use archaeological sites or objects for their religious practice. In such conflicts, archaeologists often argue that such practices are fine, as long as they do not affect the archaeology; but constitute irresponsible damage or wanton destruction if they do affect it. In this paper, it is demonstrated that such a position can no longer be maintained: spiritual practitioners have fundamental human and civil rights which entitle them not only to practice their religion in ways they deem necessary, but also to benefit from and enhance the cultural heritage in accordance with their values and beliefs. If archaeological and spiritual practice come into conflict, processes of conciliation between these opposed interests are necessary, processes which as yet, by and large, are missing.


  • Human Rights, Civil Rights, Religion, Archaeology, Heritage, Management
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeological Sites as Space for Modern Spiritual Practice
EditorsJutta Leskovar, Raimund Karl
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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