Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Olympic event: grave robbing.

I'm glad I'm not an archaeologist. Finding old coins and rusty swords would be great, but finding something like this would be far less great.

A hole containing 2000-year-old headless bodies might be exciting to those who are interested in such things, and I fully appreciate the need to research if we are ever to find out anything, but it's too close to Burke and Hare territory for my liking.

There is a distinction between archaeological finds like this and digging up fresh corpses, but where is the line? How long do you have to be buried before 'respect for the dead' expires and you become fair game for a museum collection?

It's not a career I'd do well in. My first instinct would be 'It's a grave. Cover it up and leave it alone'.

You never know when they might get annoyed.


Southern Writer said...

Please explain Burke and Hare. Must be a British thing.

I've wondered where we draw the line, too, when it comes to grave robbing. Maybe the difference is that between exhuming and excavating? We've been taking mummies and displaying (even taking them on road trips) for many decades. I don't think there have been any ill paranormal results from it, yet.

I would probably be upset if someone dug up one of my relatives, but I think once the time has passed that anyone who knew them or was related to them could possibly still be living, it doesn't bother me as much. I'm fairly certain the soul doesn't hang around with the body, and ultimately, the skeleton, even by those who don't cross over. I don't think we care about our bodies after we die. Our issues, yes, but not our bodies. Just my opinion.

Gotta rush off. Hope you have a good night and spot a ghost or two.

Romulus Crowe said...

I'll put up a post about Burke and Hare. They supplied doctors with cadavers for anatomical studies and weren't too fussy about all that 'informing the relatives' stuff.

I think, if I remember correctly, they graduated from waiting until the bodies were buried to picking a few live ones off the street and 'converting' them into subjects suitable for dissection.

It's been a while since I read about them. I'll have to look it up again.

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