Archaeology and the law

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Offline Grimbo1

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Archaeology and the law
« on: 16/12/2013 19:06:35 »
How long does a person have to be buried before an  Archaeologist can dig you up for the sake of science ?


Offline CliffordK

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Re: Archaeology and the law
« Reply #1 on: 16/12/2013 20:28:17 »
I don't think there is a fixed amount of time.

Antiquities are usually considered to belong to the descendants of a people, and the preservation of the artifacts is determined by the people.  Some Mayan remains are being excavating, perhaps 500 years old, from about the time of the Spanish invasion. 

On the other hand, there may be some American Indian burial grounds that are given "Sacred Status", and are protected as such.  Indian artifacts that are recovered, especially with respect to the dead often must be returned to the native tribes.

If the Catholics should assign saint status to an individual, they may choose to piece out the body, and distribute the body pieces around the world, or otherwise put the body on display.

Have any WWII mass burial pits been studied? 
There is an effort to identify and return Vietnam era remains to the USA.  It seems like a lot of effort for a few dead bones. 

In some cases, "Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers" have been opened and identified, so they are no longer truly unknown soldiers.