Why Are Egyptian Sarcophagi Not Worthy of the Same Respect Shown to Modern Era Graves?

The longer one lives, ideas or questions which should have been obvious seem to pop up from nowhere and stun the thoughtful.

Recent example: since it’s disrespectful to disturb graves (outside of criminal investigations), why is it OK to open the sarcophagi(elaborate coffins) of Egyptian mummies?  Is there an arbitrary waiting period so that some day all existing cemeteries can be opened at will?

Or are the ancient civilizations considered somewhat “less than human”?  This is disturbingly similar to how some view “primitive” cultures or the unborn.

 

1 – a stone coffin, especially one bearing sculpture, inscriptions, etc., often displayed as a monument, http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sarcophagi

 

 

 

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