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Tomb Raiders

 
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Casey
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Joined: 19 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Tomb Raiders Reply with quote

Does anyone know much about ancient tomb raiders, ie pyramid workers who stole jewels etc, or ancient egyptians who managed to get in after the pyramids were built and steal things?

I would have thought they'd have been too scared of the gods' reaction to desecrate tombs in this way - but obiviously not, as many pyramids were raided which is why, but the time of the New Kingdom, Kings decided that pyramids were no longer a good idea.

Also who would they have sold the stolen stuff to? Foreigners, i suppose.

Casey
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Meresankh
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
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Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I would have thought they'd have been too scared of the gods' reaction to desecrate tombs in this way - but obiviously not, as many pyramids were raided which is why, but the time of the New Kingdom, Kings decided that pyramids were no longer a good idea.


You would also think that those who committed murder, would have feared that they would have failed at the weighing of the heart ceremony but it didn't seem to deter them. It makes you wonder if EVERYONE actually believed in the gods and goddesses, as these culprits didn't seem to Rolling Eyes
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Osiris II
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Joined: 13 Mar 2004
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Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomb robbing was committed by all sorts of people, unfortunately. The designer' of the tombs, the workmen, up to and including the priests in charge of the tomb burials.
Even, at a later time, the Pharaoh and his government were implicated.
I doubt very much if the goods would have be sold to any particular person. Gold, in the form of jewelry and other artifacts more than likely would have been melted down and distributed amongst the thieves. Some items, as we can sell by burials, would have been used by others. It was an on-going problem, at times better and at times much worse.
There seems to have been a constant effort to disguise tombs, to hide burial chambers, to fool robbers--but nothing seemed to work, showing us the knowledge and duplicity of the designers.
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Casey
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it seems like in any society, i suppose, crime went on, regardless - but the Ancient Egyptians made such a big deal about the afterlife - although, i believe, on judgement days, it was very rare for someone not to be deemed fit to pass on to the next life.

Hmm, interesting, about the gold being melted down, hadn't thought about that.

Shame so much was taken from the pyramids,, leaves us with fewer artefacts.

Casey
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tnrees
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In even the earliest graves jewelry was stolen by people who must have watched the burial.
Some things such as the extremly valuble perfumes would be untracable - metal could be melted down and jewels removed from settings.
I was surprised at how much wooden stuff was still found in the robbed tombs by early archaelogists..
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there's so much of the wooden items left because the tomb robbers went more for the gold--literally. They seemed to zero in on the precious oils and perfumes and any sold golden objects.
And then the mummy itself would be robbed of the golden jewelery, which, in most cases, was melted down and the stone extracted. The wooden shines and chests, while quite often gesso-ed and gold-plated, were basically wooden, and not considered worth the time and trouble to steal.
A good case in point is the tomb of Tutankhamen. Solid gold small statues, in wooden shrines, were taken, but the shrines themselves were still there. Obviously, the tomb had been ransacked, searched for anything of value that was small, easy to carry, and could be disposed of on a ready market. A bunch of sold gold rings had been tried up in a scarf by one of thieves, and for some reason (perhaps he was alerted to guards?) the bundle was dropped in a corridor.
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Casey
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Joined: 19 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, i've been looking into this more today and it would seem robbing and crime in general was prolific.

I still find this strange, in view of the fact that the afterlife was so important to them - but then i guess like any society, they had the equivalent of atheists.

Or, more probably, life for your average ordianary egyptian was bloody hard and they doubtless focussed their energies on just getting through the present life and getting enough money to live on.

I think there was a fair bit of corruption as well, beating the confession out of people.

Casey Smile
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Meresankh
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I still find this strange, in view of the fact that the afterlife was so important to them - but then i guess like any society, they had the equivalent of atheists.


Yes, I'd say that's quite likely.
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tnrees
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also if you had the right spells you could commit major crimes and still get into paradise.
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Akhnaton
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Joined: 14 Feb 2009
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Location: Amarna

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Casey!
I'd advise you to read the opening pages of Robin Cook's Sphinx. In it, he narrates a fictional event of tomb robbing and its aftermath in a most thrilling way.
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