Dictionary > Grave robbing

Grave robbing

Grave robbing
The stealing of corpses after burial, especially for medical dissection. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in the absence of laws governing the acquisition of dissecting material for the study of anatomy, the needs of anatomy classes were met by surreptitious methods: body-snatching and grave robbing. The infamous practice of burking, murder to procure bodies for dissection, was given the name of a rascal named w. Burke, hanged in edinburgh in 1829.


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