Page last updated at 19:58 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 20:58 UK

Druids reburial appeal rebuffed

The archaeologist who found Charlie excavated much of Avebury

Druids have lost a bid to have an ancient skeleton which was unearthed in Wiltshire reburied at one of the county's most famous stone age sites.

The Council of British Druid Orders told an official consultation that the body of a neolithic child, found in 1929, should be reinterred at Avebury.

The druids contend that the remains which are on display in the village need to be treated with more respect.

But English Heritage, which owns the site, says the bones should be on show.

They say the public interest in viewing the skeleton - which is about 3,700 years old - outweighs the druids' arguments.

Cultural link

The druids say the remains of the child, known as Charlie, should be reinterred within Avebury's stone circle out of respect for the dead.

The Order says it has taken up the case because it feels it has a cultural link with pagan ancestors in the British Isles.

It is not known if Charlie, who was about three years old, was a boy or girl.

The remains were found at Windmill Hill, near Avebury, by eminent archaeologist Alexander Keiller. They are currently housed at the Alexander Keiller Museum.

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