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Ancient Egyptian Tomb Robbers
Transcript of Ancient Egyptian Tomb Robbers
Tomb Robbers Inquiry Questions 1. Who robbed tombs?
2. Why did people rob tombs?
3. What safeguards were built into the tombs to protect them?
4. What objects did they steal?
5. How were they punished if they were caught? Definition of Tomb Robbers Tomb or grave robbers are people who stole things from inside dead people’s (usually rich) graves. Who Robbed the Tombs? The most surprising tomb robbers were the servants of the deceased Pharaohs because they knew where the tomb was and how to get there. Pharaohs have been known to steal goods and tombs and use them for themselves in their own afterlife.
Once a tomb had been raided it was believed that any further disturbance would not anger the gods. Only the original tomb robber was punishable. Other robbers included men who worked on the tombs. Obvious robbers were also men who guarded the tombs and even the embalmers were known to be tomb robbers, as were Ancient Egyptian priests and scribes. Why did people Rob Tombs? What objects did they steal? What safeguards were built into the tombs to protect them? People robbed the tombs because ancient Egyptians believed that small figurines made out of valuable materials would come to life in the afterlife, to serve the person who’s tomb they were in.
These small figurines are what the robbers would have wanted because they were very precious. How were they punished if they were caught? The punishments for the tomb robbers that were caught were extremely severe. Damaging tombs, robbery and selling stolen goods were criminal offenses. Torture was used to make people confess. The usual methods of torture were whipping and beating. The back, legs and arms were beaten or whipped harshly to obtain a confession. Threats were made to cut off hands, ears and noses. And in severe cases these threats were carried out as punishments. Death sentences were rare in Egypt, but robbers were executed. Executions took the form of being burnt alive. This method of execution had complications for the eternal life of the tomb robbers. To be burnt to ashes would mean that there was no body to pass into the afterlife. Curses
Above some tombs, curses were written, most designed to bring bad–luck these were a helpful way of scaring off intruders.
Heavy stone plugs
Technically these weren’t actually traps, in that they were designed not to injure anyone. But these heavy plugs would have made it very difficult to enter the tomb. The only way of getting through was to chip away at it.
A convenient way of getting rid of an enemy was simply to drop a heavy rock on them. For this reason heavy rocks were placed above doorways, connected to wires or ropes that could bring it tumbling down on someone’s head.
These were holes, leading to steep pits below the tomb. They would have probably have had covers over them, about the size and shape of manhole covers, and would have been delicately balanced over the hole so that at a light step they would have fallen in.
The Ancient Egyptians had relatively advanced medicine. Powders, possibly with fatal powers would have been released into the air and inhaled by the intruders.
In some parts of the tomb, wires were placed at neck level. The idea was to decapitate anyone who walked into it. If placed at the right height, these wires could have been one of the most deadly and efficient traps used. The tomb robbers stole things like jewelry, figurines made of valuable materials, expensive clothing and headdresses. They would then sell the stolen goods and could live a non-working luxury life.(If they were not caught) Ancient egyptian whip Thank you Bibliography http://egypt.mrdonn.org/graverobbers.html
http://www.king-tut.org.uk/egyptian-tombs/tomb-robbers.htm Even now the tombs are being robbed. Because technically archeologists are taking things from the tombs. Here is a short clip about the modern day tomb robbers