These African American Medical schools typically obtained unclaimed Black ‘‘potter’s field bodies’’.[20]. ... weren’t robbing graves in order to participate in … The ‘fresher’ the body, the more money it was worth, thus it didn’t take long before grave-robbing graduated to anatomy murder – murder committed with the sole intention of providing the remains for medical research and attracting a monetary reward. Up to 31 recorded mort houses were scattered throughout Scotland and northern England. Those intercepted, in a public justice domain, are inclined to deny their guilt due to the three stigmas mentioned. Grave robbing has caused great difficulty to the … [5] Other peaks of tomb robbing occurred in the early 2000s and in the 2010s, when the plunder of graves was on the upswing due to an increase in global and domestic demand (and prices) for Chinese antiquities. Grave robbery often becomes a political issue when archaeologists dig up artefacts from ancient people. A mort house or dead house was used to store bodies until decomposed enough to no longer be targets for grave robbing. The remote and often undocumented locations of defunct private cemeteries make them particularly susceptible to grave robbery. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a federal law passed in 1990, extends grave protection to Native Americans' ancestors. A common purpose of body snatching, especially in the 19th century, was to sell the corpses for dissection or anatomy lectures in medical schools. Family members of the deceased may also institute a civil action to recoup the value of the stolen property or to punish the perpetrator for committing a tort. [citation needed], In Eastern Europe, including Southeast Europe and the European part of Russia, grave robbers target all kinds of historically important graves, from pre-historic tombs to World War II graves.[12][13][11]. Body snatching is the secret removal of corpses from burial sites. The offence is punishable by time in jail. Grave contexts, ceramics, iron weapons and skeletons are destroyed. If someone wanted to rob a grave, they would have to maneuver around these obstacles and navigate large stretches of land in the dark. The geography and placement of burial grounds became a deterrent within itself. This is because without the accessibility of the automobile (in the early 19th century), the transportation of bodies was difficult. Family members of the deceased may also institute a civil action to recoup the value of the stolen property or to punish the perpetrator for committing a tort. This was done until decomposition of the body was brought to a point where they would no longer be desirable for medical use. This system consists of blocks and grooves to protect the King's Chamber from tomb robbers. Because medical schools at the time actually purchased cadavers for anatomical study and dissection, some people supplied the demand by exhuming fresh corpses. Prompted in part by the case of two men stealing a skull from a Paterson cemetery last year, the state Assembly overwhelmingly voted Thursday to upgrade the criminal penalties for grave robbing. A grave robber could just wait in the distance until everyone left and dig up the body from its shallow grave. [22] Other cemeteries, of the time, that were originally built away from populated areas for similar reasons, include: Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor, Maine (1834); Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1836); Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Taunton, Massachusetts (1836); Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York (1838); Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York (1838); and, Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland (1838). Necrophilia, or the obsession with and sexual attraction to corpses, is perhaps the most disturbing reason people rob graves. Note that Mount Auburn Cemetery is over 175 acres. The North Carolina law also provided that the body of whites never be sent to an African American medical college (such as the Leonard Medical School).
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