In the last three years Aboriginal communities, particularly from south-eastern Australia, have shown great concern about the collection, storage and study of their skeletal remains. From the start there was an almost universal call for the immediate reburial of all such remains held in museums, irrespective of age and scientific value. Between May 1984 and the end of 1985, a series of Aboriginal meetings took place at which the maintenance of Aboriginal skeletal collections and research on them was condemned. Moratoria followed, preventing research even on those remains dating back 14,000 years. Antagonism arose between Aborigines and researchers, particularly biological anthropologists, who believed their work not only to be inoffensive but important for Aboriginal people themselves, since it gave them back some of their lost heritage.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steve_webb/11/