Greed Destroys Knowledge

Greed has been the down fall of man for a very long time by religion it has been since man was created, by scientific standard it has been since the beginning of recorded history. But the greed of man has cost us more then any one person can put a price on. if we are to look at the cost through out the world i would be here all day so i will only talk about Egypt. to begin with probably the most disappointing of the factors taken from Egypt is the stone and gold stolen from the Pyramids of Giza. we all know that stone does erode and eventually would be destroyed on its own. however, the pyramids had a lot of help from several groups of people. had they not been raided and damaged we may have been able to see the pyramids still gleam in the sun of Egypt to this day. the smooth limestone was taken from the pyramids leaving the edges jagged as opposed to the smooth white they once were. also the i believe there were gold peak covers on them that have since been taken as well. that is strictly speaking to the exterior of the pyramids but there was also a priceless amount of artifacts taken from the inside of each i can only imagine what was held in those pyramids based on the volume of things found in King Tut’s tomb. now that we have covered a small but still very significant piece of Egypt i need to talk about the depressing loss that happened in the Valley of the Kings. even if 10% of the tombs had been left un touched in the valley of the kings the we have a vastly more significant idea of what the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt lived and died like that we could have gotten more clues to other un discovered cites or artifacts. but beside that point is the fact that the only reason we don’t know all of these things is due to the greed of men who were supposed to  give this information and and fantastic artifacts to the world. greed has caused us to lose so much in this community that we have know idea how much we are actually missing.

2 thoughts on “Greed Destroys Knowledge

  1. I love this post because this is an idea I feel very strongly about. I absolutely agree that greed, among other factors of human nature, can destroy knowledge. I can’t seem to remember the exact title, but one of the movies we watched in class told us about Europeans just going to Egypt for fun, if they were bored, going into tombs and physically taking mummies and other artifacts home with them. They showed them off in their homes and had people pay them just for the viewings. Not only is that greedy and just plain ignorant, but that is just so disrespectful. How did that even make sense morally to them? They just find a body so they claim it and show it off to people? No one by any means should just personally own a body in their house, that’s just weird. I know its part of history, and knowledge of the mummies should definitely should not be hidden by any means, which is why I think it is okay for them to be put on display in museums and such (because they are being used for learning NOT for personal use). What did they do with the bodies when they were done staring at them though? they didn’t return them to the Egyptian government that’s for sure. The most shocking part of the movie was when they were just burning the mummified bodies for fuel. HOW did people think that was okay?! Just finding bodies and since they were old and probably had no known descendants, they were just used for fuel? One of the quotes from the movie was something like “oh these mummies aren’t burning well, throw on a king.” That’s so much knowledge about mummies that we will never get back. What if some of them are the missing links to great historical discoveries? Or what if they were the lost kings and queens archaeologists have been looking for for years? There are probably so many Egyptian artifacts just “out there” that have not been properly preserved. It makes me so happy to know that today the Egyptian government forbids the removal of anything from the country. Human greed and power has destroyed so many pieces of history and knowledge and will without a doubt continue to do so. Just a few other examples of this behavior are the looting of Constantinople, burning of the great library in Alexandria and most recently, the looting of the Iraq Museum during present day war times.

  2. I really liked this post for a wide range of reasons. In regards to the discoveries of Ancient Egypt, it is truly a tragedy that so many treasures that were preserved were looted and we don’t have any idea what is supposed to be there. The people of that age worked so hard to preserve the riches of their pharaohs in preparation for their afterlives and as soon as they were gone, they were immediately looted. As our professor stated earlier this semester when we were first learning about Ancient Egypt, we are doing archaeology of archaeology. It is unfortunate that unqualified people are the ones that discovered much of Ancient Egypt because they did not take thoughtful records or think about how they could be affecting the future. It is exactly as you stated, they are greedy and selfish. This is a theme that can be spread across all of historical findings in general. The finders are all very excited and couldn’t care less about the future because the present is more important to them. Just as I learned in ANP 203 – Intro to Archaeology, it is all about context and much of what is found is by ordinary people who are just excited to find something incredible. To look at it from another perspective, we can be thankful for the looting in a different light. The fact that much of ancient history has been destroyed or looted and kept for personal gains makes what we do find that much more incredible. If all of the past was perfectly preserved then the rush and excitement of searching for small clues hitting the jackpot when finding sites such as King Tut’s tomb wouldn’t be as exciting. Great post.

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