Archaeology students accused of being coddled after trigger warning over ‘dead body’ image

Archaeologists uncover mass grave in lost medieval village

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The University of York has been accused of coddling its students, as participants of the archaeology course have been warned that they will encounter images of “human remains” and funeral rituals during their lectures. These “content warnings” are aimed at preparing students of potentially disturbing images that they may encounter during the course.

Students who take part in a module on mummification have reportedly been notified that lectures will contain images of dead bodies and human skeletal material.

In the previous years, the University website has noted: “Students have said they really enjoyed the in-depth discussions of Egyptian mummification”.

Alan Sked, emeritus professor for the department of international history at LSE, slammed this move, describing it as an example of the “infantilisation of British universities”.

He told the Telegraph: “Not so long ago Glasgow University warned its theology students that a course on Christ ended with a very violent episode called the crucifixion.

“Its archaeology students were warned in advance that digs might reveal human remains.”

The course has also challenged the widely held belief mummification was a process exclusively performed by ancient Egyptians, challenging students to “think again”.

They are right of course, as preserving dead bodies is a practice which has taken place across the ancient world.

The course website said: “Artificial and natural ways of preserving human bodies have been used throughout the past and around the world.”

It also added the course teaches “different methodologies” in preserving the dead “employed in Ancient Egypt and South America”.

However in the process of studying these various methodologies, students have been warned about the potential for “frequent discussion of funerary treatments for the dead”.

Meanwhile students who enrolled to study another module that teaches “themes of violence and conflict within world archaeology” were notified their lectures would contain images of dead bodies and “frequent discussion of extreme and ritualised violence”.

Content warnings in the archaeology course also include warnings that discussions would include “political discourse”.

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Meanwhile, modules on death and DNA have warned students about discussions of treating deceased people and disease symptoms.

The Telegraph reported the module on “human bones” did not feature any content warnings.

Prof Sked said: “At this rate, all history students should be warned that most history books are likely to include bloody episodes of war or revolution.

“Indeed, all students should be warned when arriving at university that books and lectures may – alas only may in today’s intellectual climate – contain dangerous things called ideas, although, for their own protection, controversial ones will be banned.

“We should pray to Cardinal Newman to intercede.” has contacted the University of York for comment.

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