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Archeologists Sued For Not Signing Approvals To Destroy Historical Sites

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posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by KritikalMass
profits trump history.


Yup. All you can do is try to educate the public and shine a light on the lawbreakers. That and bump the fines for non-compliance.


Or how about actually following through and enforcing fines for non-compliance? That would be a good start.

As it stands now, non-reporting is a viable option for developers and they know it. I worked with a skeletal assemblage that was found by developers who decided that they would keep going and brush the fact that they had uncovered human remains under the proverbial rug. Thankfully one of them was guilty enough to anonymously report it and there were massive fines levied, etc. But how often does this happen when none of the offending parties feel guilty enough to give their colleagues up?




posted on Dec, 31 2010 @ 09:41 AM
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My view on archeology in general and not just in this case is two fold. I love it and wish I could be one. I even watch shows like time team and digging for britain. One thing however bothers me. That is archeology involving tombs. Personally anyone wheter a robber or an archologist should never set foot inside an ancient tomb. Archeology in that area is nothing but glorofied grave robbing. They completely ignore the wishes and effords of those who lay there for their scientific curiosity. Not to mention that it is a form of science that in the end benefits only those who are in the field. We will never have anything practical come up from this practice. 99% of the population probably never even hear what they discover in tombs unless it's something huge like giza pyramids. Scientist argue that it is very important to understanding history and they are correct but I think that the wishes of the deceased trump that.
Just my 2cents



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
My view on archeology in general and not just in this case is two fold. I love it and wish I could be one. I even watch shows like time team and digging for britain.

Not sure what your circumstances are in Finland, but here in Canada there are Archaeological Societies whose memberships are open to professionals and laymen alike. Often they will sponsor public digs that allow one to get dirty in a supervised environment. They also provide a great opportunity to learn.


One thing however bothers me. That is archeology involving tombs. Personally anyone wheter a robber or an archologist should never set foot inside an ancient tomb. Archeology in that area is nothing but glorofied grave robbing. They completely ignore the wishes and effords of those who lay there for their scientific curiosity. Not to mention that it is a form of science that in the end benefits only those who are in the field. We will never have anything practical come up from this practice. 99% of the population probably never even hear what they discover in tombs unless it's something huge like giza pyramids. Scientist argue that it is very important to understanding history and they are correct but I think that the wishes of the deceased trump that.
Just my 2cents


I understand your concern. I speak as an amateur, from an Ontario, Canada perspective but archaeologists worldwide are expected to subscribe to a code of ethics in general. Encountering human burials changes the issue from ethics to a matter of law.

Consider that most burials are encountered in the course of development...as in the case of the original post. There are a series of legal requirements that kick in at this point, starting with a responsibility to report such discoveries to the authorities. Sadly, that doesn't always happen, but even if it does, it generally leads a rescue operation as heritage rarely trumps development. Here, though, Cemeteries are regarded differently and other laws come into play which may protect the site.

Even those monumental tombs you refer to are still graves, though. Many cultures buried their dead with conspicuous wealth to serve them on 'the other side'...very attractive to looters. Consider that unless you have a specific research question, things are generally better off left in the ground, but it doesn't always work that way. If you're talking projects like Egypt or MesoAmerica, there's a lot of attention to begin with...and first off you are trying to get in ahead of the thieves. Then there is the issue of academic ‘acquisition’. You'll see Zahi Hawass reviled by some on this site, but he sticks up for Egypt and its past, and the integrity of its heritage resources. Schools and museums have become a lot more attuned to the politics of cultural heritage, especially with regard to human remains. Look at NAGPRA in the US…quite the double-edged sword, that.

North American First Nations sites are vulnerable to pot hunters who loot graves without regard for science or the dignity of the deceased. If anything, laws and penalties for violations need to be steeper. But as to the Archaeologists themselves, these days the science is more about inclusion with indigenous peoples as well as training them in the generally accepted standards and guidelines of the practice. If there is any answer to your statement, it is a need for that kind of cooperation.

But don't let Indian Jones serve as a model for the science.

edit on 4-1-2011 by JohnnyCanuck because: of spelling, darn it!



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 01:18 PM
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Yes you have valid points. My whole idea however is that it seems like the wishes of the people in those tombs is completely ignored. Some tombs involved entire generations and took decades to prepare. They went out of their way to make false chambers and such to keep the tombs undisturbed. Of course there is unprepared deaths and deaths of common poor people which dont involve elobrate preparation or funerals. Any grave site should in my opinion to be off limits to all. I personally would be quite happy not knowing who is buried in Giza and what ever was discovered along with that and other tomb discoveries. We would perhaps know alot less then. Scientist not only ignore the wish of leaving the tombs undisturbed but also the belongings end up in museums etc. and some tombs become tourist attractions. I kind of think about the situation in a manner "what would the ghost of the dead guy say". In modern world we have rights for deceased such as a written will and laws protection on grave sites.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 03:47 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
Yes you have valid points. My whole idea however is that it seems like the wishes of the people in those tombs is completely ignored. Some tombs involved entire generations and took decades to prepare. They went out of their way to make false chambers and such to keep the tombs undisturbed. Of course there is unprepared deaths and deaths of common poor people which dont involve elobrate preparation or funerals. Any grave site should in my opinion to be off limits to all. I personally would be quite happy not knowing who is buried in Giza and what ever was discovered along with that and other tomb discoveries. We would perhaps know alot less then. Scientist not only ignore the wish of leaving the tombs undisturbed but also the belongings end up in museums etc. and some tombs become tourist attractions. I kind of think about the situation in a manner "what would the ghost of the dead guy say". In modern world we have rights for deceased such as a written will and laws protection on grave sites.


Couple of things...
The graves of the common people tell us a lot more about the lifeways of our forebears...what they ate, how they acquired their food, what diseases plagued them, how they made a living...than those of the rich. But those grave goods of the wealthy also tell us what was held important, what kind of trade and interaction was conducted, how society was constructed, what their religious beliefs were, and so on.

The results from common graves, however important, are not sexy enough to demand the kind of financial sponsorship that the King Tuts draw. The toolkit of a tomb builder is not going to attract the public attention that the mask of Tut will...and where public attention goes, research grants follow.

All of this knowledge, though, is important for us to reconstruct our past...to get an accurate picture of our roots as a species. These are fundamental needs, as evidenced by numerous posters on this site who would have human accomplishment attributed to aliens or other supernatural sources. There is a human story, it needs to be ascertained and it needs to be told.

But we must never forget to treat the past, including the remains of our ancestors, with dignity and respect.

I hope this helps explain my position.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck
Couple of things...
The graves of the common people tell us a lot more about the lifeways of our forebears...what they ate, how they acquired their food, what diseases plagued them, how they made a living...than those of the rich. But those grave goods of the wealthy also tell us what was held important, what kind of trade and interaction was conducted, how society was constructed, what their religious beliefs were, and so on.


I dont see how any of this wouldn't be found out through other kinds of archeology.



The results from common graves, however important, are not sexy enough to demand the kind of financial sponsorship that the King Tuts draw. The toolkit of a tomb builder is not going to attract the public attention that the mask of Tut will...and where public attention goes, research grants follow.


Well we have a saying that money is the root of all evil.




All of this knowledge, though, is important for us to reconstruct our past...to get an accurate picture of our roots as a species. These are fundamental needs, as evidenced by numerous posters on this site who would have human accomplishment attributed to aliens or other supernatural sources. There is a human story, it needs to be ascertained and it needs to be told.


Yes we as a species have a curiousity and right to learn about our past. I dont think that trumps the wishes of the dead thought. Even with the most cutting edge information we will still have 'loonies' who believe the extremes imagination can produce. Your average people will very rarely even hear of the discories made in tomb archeology. They might visit Giza or hear about it in school. Most of the data is for scientist only.



But we must never forget to treat the past, including the remains of our ancestors, with dignity and respect.

I hope this helps explain my position.


Here in lies the fence that seperates us
I don't think modern scientist ever show respect for the remains they find. If you'd travel back in time to tell some egyptian for example that in 3000 years his grave is going to be opened, his bones moved and samples takes from them they'd probably go crazy and dig a 10km tunnel to the core of the earth to be left alone. They've been dead for centuries or millenias and have no voice in the matter.
edit on 4/1/2011 by PsykoOps because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 04:37 PM
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Some Archaeologists get carried away though.
I have seen construction sites shut down for month just from a couple arrow heads

Out in the Calif desert you sometimes have to have a Archaeologists to look for artifacts.
Plus a desert tortoise person to mack sure you do not annoy the tortoises
And a Mojave ground squirrel person to make sure you don.t annoy the ground squirrels.(biological monitor)
harringtonkauffman.com...
www.conbio.org...
great jobs if you have the degrees and don't want to work a real job.

All paid for by the construction company. or if its a state project paid for by the taxpayer



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 05:55 PM
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Originally posted by ANNED
Some Archaeologists get carried away though.
I have seen construction sites shut down for month just from a couple arrow heads


It's a little more complex than that. Two 'arrow heads' will not shut down a construction site. They may lead to further investigation that determines there are archaeological resources present that need to be dealt with.


Out in the Calif desert you sometimes have to have a Archaeologists to look for artifacts.
Plus a desert tortoise person to mack sure you do not annoy the tortoises
And a Mojave ground squirrel person to make sure you don.t annoy the ground squirrels.(biological monitor)
harringtonkauffman.com...
www.conbio.org...
great jobs if you have the degrees and don't want to work a real job.


Gee...you get the degrees, accumulate the required knowledge and work in your field...sounds like a real job to me.


All paid for by the construction company. or if its a state project paid for by the taxpayer


It all comes down to respect for what's around you. Those laws and regulations are in place because your lawmakers may just recognise that some things are more important than the race for the almighty dollar. How about throwing Plymouth Rock into a crusher because the road down the way needs gravel? How about chewing your grandmother's grave into compost because you could pop a real nice set of condos onto that meadow? Perhaps 18 holes at Arlington?

Seems to me that you need to get a larger grasp of the space you currently occupy.



posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by PsykoOps
I don't think modern scientist ever show respect for the remains they find. If you'd travel back in time to tell some egyptian for example that in 3000 years his grave is going to be opened, his bones moved and samples takes from them they'd probably go crazy and dig a 10km tunnel to the core of the earth to be left alone. They've been dead for centuries or millenias and have no voice in the matter.


As someone who has dealt with human remains, you need to know that there are numerous agencies who make it their business that you are doing it right.



posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 01:32 AM
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Originally posted by ANNED
Some Archaeologists get carried away though.
I have seen construction sites shut down for month just from a couple arrow heads


Where you find arrowheads you might find the next Machu Picchu just few feed under. That's why archeologist exist. Even something like few pieces of pottery can be a huge find and would be ashame to lose under a construction site.

reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Yeah right according our idea of what is ok. Touching and moving dead humans would be a huge no no to those who are deceased.
Which btw remained me that there are some cultures afaik who regard their dead remains empty useless vessels. They even feed them to wild animals to dispose of them. I wouldn't mind archeologist poking around with those. It is all about the wish of those who have passed. Since they can't speak for themselves I like to take the perspective of "what would they want?". I guess it's sort of twisted morals/superstition


edit on 5/1/2011 by PsykoOps because: (no reason given)



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