Preserving history or grave robbing?

  1. I'm watching this thing on the Discovery Channel where archeologists are exploring tombs of people that the is believed to be members of Tutankhamen's family.

    (And I'm sort of thinking out loud here, so bear with me.)


    Is removing items from the tomb considered grave robbing, or is it preserving the history?


    Grave robbing is defined as is the act of uncovering a tomb or crypt to steal the artifacts inside or disinterring a corpse to steal the body itself or its personal effects.


    On the one hand, if the items are put in a museum, then it's preserving the culture, and the items are safe from people who want to find these things for their own selfish purposes.


    On the other hand, wouldn't you preserve something by leaving it alone?


    Then again, how could you possibly know about people's lives and cultures by not studying the artifacts used in everyday life?
     
  2. I think its preserving history. As much of an invasion it is, we learn a lot. But there are also situations of grave robbing, that I don't approve of.
     
  3. Beleive me if a museum doesn't pick it up someone will steal it, sell it, & it'll end up in private collections where no one has a chance to see it.
     
  4. We do unearth early artifacts, bodies etc and display them. And we do learn about cultures and history.

    I do think, the pharoahs must be disturbed anyway. They put their chariots, their food, their belongings in very specific places in their tombs to take with them into the afterlife.

    Who knows - there might be a disgruntled dead pharoah wandering around the British Museum looking for his stuff?
     
  5. We live in the country and we actually have a small graveyard on our property. It's just two graves... Capt. Albert and his wife, Margaret. I'd have to go out in the ice and snow to check their burial dates, but it was before the Civil War. About the 1820's as I remember. I would never let anyone near my cemetary. Whatever anyone might want to know about them has to remained buried. It is my responsibility to oversee their graves.
     
  6. Sorry, I can in no way understand how this is considered "grave robbing." Grave robbing is what petty thieves do in the dead of night... you must be confusing that with archeology and anthropology which is when men with Ph.Ds go out and carefully document civilization's history so that humanity can be know and learn from its past.

    I'm miffed at the idea this could be considered grave-robbing at all. :shrugs:
     
  7. From the pharoah's point of view it wouldn't be any different. They get put in their tombs with all their stuff, hoping to remain in there with their goods for all eternity, and some guy comes and digs them up? They wouldn't care if the digger had a Ph.D or not!!

    But seriously, we dig up archeological sites to gain knowledge for 'us' and for 'us' to learn and satify our curiosity. By 'us' here I mean the present generation. When digging up such sites many people do not think, for a moment, whether the dead person preferred to be buried undisturbed forever.
     
  8. I guess my concern for the living (school children, historians, humanity in general, etc.) who would benefit from this knowledge outweighs what a long-dead phaorah's "point of view" could hypothetically be.
     
  9. this is a tricky one.. i do see a difference between people digging up graves for their own financial gain in the dark of night rather than to preserve certain items for history but i can also see the iffy side of it. i can appreciate that there are things that should be preserved for history but i might want to have myself cremated to prevent my grave from being dug up and being too closely inspected.
     
  10. IMO. If there is no one alive that personally knew the deceased, then it is preserving history.
     
  11. I hope that the items are at least being placed in a museum in Egypt. At the British Museum, there are remnants of the Parthenon there. There was controversy over it because an English Lord took them from Greece and donated them to the museum. The Greek government is still fighting legal battles to get it back =T
     
  12. It is an iffy one & I tend to come down on the side of respect for the dead. If they wished to be buried with these things what right have we to remove them? Do we need to know more about the past I think we have a fair idea already! Perhaps we should be looking more to the present & future & how to bring peace to the world instead of putting so muich money into discovering more about the past!
    By the way has anyone heard of the Curse of Tutankamen? People who interfered with original grave all died, can't remember the details but I am sure all on the net somewhere.
     
  13. i've watched loads of documentaries about the "curse" on the national geographic channel.. apparently it was something about poisonous gases forming in the tomb :confused1:
     
  14. I agree with you on this one, but I also see the point of the lovely lady that posted right after you. :idea:

    I will always lean towards archeology...hell I wanted to be an archeologist, kind of still do, but I have other wants in life that can't co-exist.

    The way I look at it, millions of years from now people will probably be doing the same to us to learn about our history and culture. I know I personally won't mind, I'll be dead.:p
     
  15. The 'Curse of Tutankhamen' was asbestos.



    I know the difference between grave robbing and archeology and can see how putting the things in a museum would protect them from people who want to use those things for sinister purposes.

    Lee lee, I understand why you won't let anyone near those graves. There's enough information about both the pre Civil War and Civil War eras that nobody needs to disturb those two graves.

    I think because there's still so many unanwered questions about Ancient Egypt that there's still some more research that needs to be done.

    (And part of me likes to think that the Ancient rulers of Egypt are happier that their things are preserved in a museum than in the hands of grave-robbers.)