Archeology or voyeurism?

Archaeology: grave-robbing with a degree.

Told to me by an archaeologist, as it happens.
 

ABNredleg

Old-Salt
It's worth remembering that there were periods, not that long ago, when bodies were buried to remove the flesh and then the bones were dug back up and stored. As an obscure example I've come across recently, a lot of the bones of the war dead from the battle of Wagram in 1809 are in the crypt of the church at Markgragneusiedl. They're in a huge heap, no ID , no segregation.
Same with the remains of the Alamo dead.

Alamo Dead.jpg
 
Why dont we dig up all the jews so we can put this whole holocaust thing to bed?

That's 6,000,000. of which 1,500,000 were children. and another 5,000,000. comprising of Russian, poles, French, Greek, Romany, Norwegians, Belgium, Holland, Hungarians, and don't forget the 3 Baltic states, and captured POW's Resistance fighters, Yugoslavs, The German white rose resistance, British serviceman, and the women in the SOE,

*That's about 13,000,000 in all although the exact number will never be known. lets dig them all up, why not, its only history, and they are all dead, who cares?

*Killed, worked to death, starved, shot hung, beaten, gassed burnt and buried alive and experimented on in the death camps, factories, quarry's, mines, steel mills, munitions factories and work camps.

DEUTSCHLAND UBER ALLES.
 
Last edited:

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Archaeology: grave-robbing with a degree.

Told to me by an archaeologist, as it happens.
Brother is one such creature.
Refers to a trip to the British Museum as a "Stolen Antiquities Tour"
 

Awol

LE
Obviously it's beyond the pale to mess about with the bodies of WWI dead, but it seems okay to poke around with the bodies from the Franklin Expedition from some 70 years previously.

Is is merely a time thing, or does the context have a bearing?
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Obviously it's beyond the pale to mess about with the bodies of WWI dead, but it seems okay to poke around with the bodies from the Franklin Expedition from some 70 years previously.

Is is merely a time thing, or does the context have a bearing?
The WW1 are usually a recovery and identification process.
As is Bodies of US WW2 troops found on island
 

Chalkster69

Old-Salt
That's my thinking on the matter - would we dig up Queen Victoria to see if she had all her teeth?

It is a fine line I think, and the Franklin exhumation was pretty close to that line for me.
 
For me once I am dead you can do what you like with my body.
I have the same attitude to archeology, the information we get from those bodies is priceless.
 
That's my thinking on the matter - would we dig up Queen Victoria to see if she had all her teeth?

It is a fine line I think, and the Franklin exhumation was pretty close to that line for me.
Thing is, another 100 years (if we are still here as a species) they probably will do. Same as we now dig up Romans, Vikings and others. They will dig up the people from today, so confuse the shit out of them, request a boat burial or be buried North/South with grave goods...if nothing else you will confuse the crap out of an Archaeologist who will put it down to "ritual" use and move on.
 
I believe that you can only lease a grave plot in the UK for 100 years. After that if no-one renews the lease the ground can be used for something else or reused as a burial plot.
I think war graves or the graves of people who suffered from a disaster like Aberfan, Titanic etc have special reverence and should remain undisturbed. This does not include the finding and identifying previously lost people, who should where possible be identified and re buried with full honours where appropriate.
Ancient burial sites thousands of years old can offer up lots of information about history (particularly from the period before written history) I think in this country permission is needed before these sites can be dug up and any remains are treated with respect.
Most modern religions have only been around a couple of thousand years, so if you are going to rebury a body that is 10000 years old, giving it a Christian burial or such like would not be appropriate IMHO.
 
For me once I am dead you can do what you like with my body.
I have the same attitude to archeology, the information we get from those bodies is priceless.
I don't mind donating all of my organs etc. but I feel a bit queasy if my body is gonna be poked and prodded for years. Have a cousin who is a dentist and each student was 'given' a cadaver which they used over a period of about 2 years. I don't fancy that and I cannot explain why as I know, logically, that I'm dead, it's just.............
 
I don't mind donating all of my organs etc. but I feel a bit queasy if my body is gonna be poked and prodded for years. Have a cousin who is a dentist and each student was 'given' a cadaver which they used over a period of about 2 years. I don't fancy that and I cannot explain why as I know, logically, that I'm dead, it's just.............
Could be worse, the could fry your liver with onions
 
Video like this makes me feel very uncomfortable:

It is voyeurism with people just wandering around videoing, not even any pretence that its a 'scientific' discovery. I'd have thought that the Egyptians would have wanted their ancestors treated with a little more reverence, clearly tourist dollars speak more loudly.
Imagine several planeloads of (Ooh - let's say Chinese) tourists at the site with no barriers or supervision.

Let the genpub look but not touch instead.
 
Obviously it's beyond the pale to mess about with the bodies of WWI dead, but it seems okay to poke around with the bodies from the Franklin Expedition from some 70 years previously.

Is is merely a time thing, or does the context have a bearing?
Context has a huge bearing on what is acceptable by the general public. For example it is not acceptable to buy a helmet or personal belongings that were buried in an Allied soldiers grave, but it seems perfectly acceptable to purchase dug up German soldiers belongings on fleabay and other online sources. You can easily look up advertised German id tags and find the specific soldier was killed on the eastern front, yet somehow his rust encrusted kit was found in a bunker, guess he just left everything behind when he went out on patrol that night....Seems bunker is the new word for grave in Eastern Europe.
 
Mrs. Specop is currently writing an essay as part of her archæology course on the morality of entering graves (and the rights/wrongs of keeping stuff from other countries).

As her spellchecker, l read this stuff with interest.

She (and l help!) is on a long term dig near Chester, where there's Paleolithic, Iron Age, Roman and Mediæval remains on one site. The changing water table means tbe 12thC-16thC cemetery needs digging in the next few years; these are Christian burials of people with identifiable descendants (a few...just) locally.

Interesting question.

Sorry to self quote here;


One good reason to dig up graves is to assist medical researchers.

Mrs. Specop's team (she's not on this particular research path) includes those looking at Paget's Disease... lemme find a link....






If you read up on it, the archæologists have been central to real advances in understanding of this disease.

Interesting stuff.
 
Sorry to self quote here;


One good reason to dig up graves is to assist medical researchers.

Mrs. Specop's team (she's not on this particular research path) includes those looking at Paget's Disease... lemme find a link....






If you read up on it, the archæologists have been central to real advances in understanding of this disease.

Interesting stuff.
I think there ought to be a distinction though. What we have now is ‘archeology’ with a primary role to feed a niche that has developed in reality television.
Is much of it really about learning (New things)how people lived in the past- or is it just an endless production line, of bearded ring through the nose types, scraping away at yet another location thought to have bodies?
 
I think there ought to be a distinction though. What we have now is ‘archeology’ with a primary role to feed a niche that has developed in reality television.
Is much of it really about learning (New things)how people lived in the past- or is it just an endless production line, of bearded ring through the nose types, scraping away at yet another location thought to have bodies?
I think, that for me that is interested in History and archaeology I would like to see the artefacts found at sites such as Vindolanda or Fishbourne, or the village at West Stow for me these have more context than a load of bodies dug up from a site. However, DNA analysis can help trace population movement and even locate where people are from, such as the crew of the Mary Rose, or Cheddar Man. Those things fascinate me.
 
I seem to recall something kicked off in the US recently, over some native Indian ‘sacred site’ being excavated. I think they had to re-bury the bones in the end.
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top