Greeks

Their Belief

This picture is of a funerary slab. The Greek believed that when a person dies, their psyche left the body to enter the palace of Hades, king of the dead. They buried the dead in single graves, that were either stone lined or plain pits dug in the ground. Bodies of the dead were either cremated or buried intact. They also buried gifts like food and drinks. Other gifts included weapons such as knives and tools for men, jewelry and clothes for the women and finally toys for the kids.

Ritual Steps

Mostly the women would conduct the burial rituals. The first step would be the prothesis, which was the laying out of the body. It was during this phase that relatives and friends would come and visit the deceased one. Their burial methods were very similar to ours. The ekphora was the funeral procession, the emanation of the holy spirit. It was at this phase that the deceased were washed, rubbed with oil, dressed and then placed on an altar in the house. An interesting fact is that the ekphora mostly happened before dawn. Statues would be placed near the deceased to mark the area where they were buried and to remember the importance of the deceased. The women would come back to visit with cakes, which is something unusual.

Description: The plinth in which the shaft is set has a metrical inscription on it informing us that the memorial was erected by a father and a mother to their dead son. According to the designs on the grave monument, the boy was an athlete because he holds an oil flask from his wrist. Oil was used as a cleanser after exercise. He also holds a pomegranate which is a sign of fecundity and death in the greek myths.

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