A HIGH ranking druid has asked Government to rebury bones excavated from land at Avebury – and now the public are being asked what they think.

The human remains, which date back to sometime between 2,000 and 3,700BC, are stored at the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury.

In 2006 Paul Davies, reburial officer at the Council of British Druid Orders (CoBDO), wrote to request the reburial of the remains.

English Heritage and the National Trust, who care for the World Heritage Site, have been considering the request using a process recommended by Government to decide the final fate of the remains.

The experts have drawn up a report and now want members of the public to comment on it.

Dr Sebastian Payne, chief scientist at English Heritage, said: “This request raises sensitive and important issues about religious beliefs surrounding human remains, and the value of these remains in telling us about our shared past.

“It is likely to set a precedent for treating other similar requests.

“Avebury is also a World Heritage Site.

“We need to consult widely to decide on the best way forward.”

The public is being asked to give its views on a range of options.

Possible fates include reburial in a way which makes the remains unavailable for further examination, reburial in a way which ensures that the remains are still available for future examination and retention in the museum in a way which shows respect for druid beliefs.

All the consultation papers and a questionnaire are available from www.english-heritage.org.uk/aveburyreburialconsultation and www.thenationaltrust.org.uk/remains.

The deadline for the consultation is January 31 2009.