Announcement Regarding Associated Funerary Objects

The Peabody Museum is authorized by Harvard University to transfer associated funerary objects under NAGPRA, including those recommended by the Secretary of the Interior, with the disposition of culturally unidentified human remains. The Museum will respectfully contact Tribes who have requested these burial belongings in the past, and were declined prior to this authorization. The Museum apologizes for those refusals.

Last year, in 2020, the Museum’s NAGPRA Advisory Committee prioritized consideration of associated funerary objects with culturally unidentifiable human remains and requested administrative steps to enable these and other transfers; and furthermore, acknowledged the need for respectful repair. In accordance with NAGPRA’s regulatory addition for disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains and recommendation that museums transfer control of associated funerary objects if Federal or State law does not preclude it, the Museum will assess requests on a case-by-case basis as described in the regulation. This will begin with contacting Tribes who have previously requested these items.