Directed Study: SANTS Artefact Collection – Background and Repatriation

Hi guys. My directed study on this SANTS Collection has been focused quite a lot on repatriation and what options might be possible. To look into this I’ve done a bit of research into the situation of cultural material repatriation in Australia broadly and more specifically at South Australia. This is opposed to the repatriation of human remains which seems to have considerably more literature and attention. I have found Rachel Lenehan’s 1995 thesis on this topic of cultural material repatriation to be very helpful and interesting. I have considered an updated version (taking in the last 15 years) to be a possible thesis opportunity for myself.

I have included a short history on archaeology in Australia and its connection with indigenous communities and the paradigm shift towards community participation and a respect for other people’s cultural property. This history includes issues that have been raised for and against repatriation. As for the SANTS Collection, there are a few options available.

In my background research on cultural material repatriation I have looked at certain institutions and how they have behaved over time in particular repatriation instances. In particular I have looked at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council (TALC) versus La Trobe, The Australian Museum and the South Australian Museum.

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