Waking the dead

Charles Cowling


The six hundred year-old mummy of a Ming Dynasty woman, discovered during roadbuilding, is brought up from her grave by archaeologists. 

Does curiosity about the past really justify disturbing the dead? At the GFG we customarily refer to archaeologists as grave-robbers and resurrection men. 



Hat tip to the Funeral Consumers Alliance.

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Jenny Uzzell
Jenny Uzzell

This doesn’t seem to be a case of archeological curiosity, as the grave was discovered during road building and would, presumably, have been destroyed by it had the body not been removed. On the wider issue, this is one of the few ethical issues that I find it really hard to work through. I am, and always have been, fascinated by ancient history, religion and archeology. I like seeing the Egyptian mummies in museums and at the same time I find it uncomfortable. In the case of the Egyptian mummies I thik I reconcile it with the thought that the… Read more »

Kathryn Edwards
Kathryn Edwards

Bad bad bad. I’d want to ask ’em, ‘Wot if it woz ur Mum?’