When does grave robbing become archaeology?

Is there an amount of time that has to pass? Or is it more nuanced than that?
22 November 2022



When does grave robbing become archeology? When do we cease to be a grave robber and become an archeologist?


Emma - It's extremely interesting and I think it's not necessarily about time because you can actually do archeology on very recent sites, and people do that. It's more about the motivations and how you do it. So grave robbing is usually inquisitive, so it's to get remains or to get the grave goods to keep or to sell. Whereas archeology is actually about finding information about the past and in some senses preserving the past. So taking meticulous records and doing everything in meticulous detail to really preserve the knowledge about how people lived in the past

Chris - So it's the intent that matters, isn't it? Thanks Emma for that.


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