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Research Deadend....Help
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:28 am 
Tomb Robber
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Location: Lancaster, England
Hello all,

I'm a first year archaeology student from England and have been set an essay question - one of a few possibles - concerning the relevancy of future archaeological excavations. In order to answer this question, I feel it wise to delve into archaeology's past in order to ascertain the, perhaps, arbitrary methods undertaken on previous sites, by today's standards anyway, and apply this to my argument.

As an example, I recollect a documentary I saw on the History Channel some time ago, which, if my dreadful memory is accurate, was about Howard Carter and the claim that he was nothing more than a mercenary 'tomb raider'. I have searched university libraries online but can find no literature that supports this thinking.

I have no idea as to the merits of this claim - my forte is Rome - but wonder if any of you Egypt aficionados might be able to point me in the direction of something that supports this, or indeed, discusses the idea of it?

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers

Phil


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:53 am 
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Location: Bulgaria
Hello , Phil.

I am sorry for the late responce.
As far as i know , Howard Carter can be use as an example for good execute excavation, for instance he using a system, wich is a practise in all arcaelogical society right know.I am talking about applaing in archaelogical side, a coordinate system wich divide it in small regions.Also Carter was spend more time in circumscription of what he found, than the time he spend on searching the toon.
Remember that we have now the exact position, photo and description of all objects in the toon , it is so exact that modern society can build plans for that toon so presition that even smallest peace can be situated.Such 3d plans exist in internet and they are avalyable, only becaus of Carter's and his team labour.

Now about you'r question, i am not shure that i undarstand it well.Do it mean , in simple words "what for , can be use futures excavatations" or "how a future exavations can be execute better" or maybe it is " which new methods can be applicable in future excavations"?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:49 am 
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There have been accusations that he kept some items from the tomb - (as souveniers?) and his team does seem have been a bit rough dealing with the way Tut was glued in by the substances the priests poured on him.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:50 am 
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Location: Long Beach, CA
You might find this interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Car ... haeologist)

Carter's biggest enemy in the excavation of Tut's tomb was his own ego. He was positive that only he knew the correct procedure for excavating "his" tomb. When Egyptian authorities wanted more control of the excavation, he padlocked the entrance in a snit!
But, basically, he did an out-standing job of excavation, taking several years to complete emptying the tomb. He made sure thqat each and every piece was photographed in situ before it was removed, restoration and preservation carefully carried out.
That said, his treatment of the mummy was, IMO, merely a search for gold. The mummy was almost destroyed. In fact, even though it looks almost complete, it is in fact in pieces.
I think, that considering the excavation techniques at the time, Carter's work was a classic example of how to do it correctly!


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Carter
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:12 pm 
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Carter must be turning in his grave to have such accusations hurled at him :?: I am of the belief that he single-handedly and doggedly pursued his dreams of finding Tutankhamun's tomb for the benefit of all mankind.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:35 pm 
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I must take exception to your statement that his excavation was for "the benefit of man".
His determination and dedication in the quest for the tomb of Tutankhamen went far beyond the year of his actually finding the tomb. Originally, Davies had the concession to dig in the valley. Cater could hardly wait to get official permission to dig there, in fact, he stated much earlier that he would find Tut's tomb.
Which, of course, he did, and it did greatly benefit man in showing him with much more detail exactly how very rich and artistic the ancient Egyptians were at that time.
But, I think it must be realized that his main purpose was not so much as to educating man's concept of ancient Egypt, but, first of all, re-paying Carnavon for several years of financing his digs, and then to establish himself as the source of knowledge for Tutankhamen. Before the discovery, he was a "just getting by" archaeologist, sometimes artist illustrating objects from other digs. He went from that to the ultimate Egyptologist, a world-lecturer whose prestige was supreme! His find was, to put it mildly, mind-boggling, and his procedures and methods he used are still in use today, and are considered to be the basics of a good dig, but I can't really say that his find was to benefit all mankind.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:38 am 
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To each his own, Osiris II :)


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