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Understanding What Role Tombstones Play

A mausoleum is a kind of building that is mainly erected as a tomb. A stele is a kind of headstone that is mostly used in European coastal areas. Throughout Eurasia chariot graves were commonly used. Catacombs are cemeteries that are underground and connected by tunnels. Alexandria and Rome have the most famous ones. A necropolis (or City of the Dead) is a larger accumulation of tombs that are above ground. Some tombstones aren't visible above ground. Then there is the cenotaph, which is a kind of memorial to the dead that doesn't have any human remains.

There are many different ways that grave art may be expressed. The moai statues found on Easter Island, for example, are a kind of ancestors portrait without any individualized features. Many different cultures feature ancestral mappings, including ancient China and Rome where instead of being buried they were stored within the surviving relatives' houses. Depictions of the mythical creatures called psychopomps would epitomize the dead's souls in the afterlife. In many cultures they are common like the Etruscan Charun and Greek Hermes.

Tombs comprise most of the ancient archaeological remains, especially megalithic monuments (comprised of large boulders). The earliest specimens that are known date within a couple of centuries of one another. In addition they show a large variation in both purpose and design. On the Iberian Peninsula there are graves that date to around 4510 f.Kr according to thermoluminescence . There are some grave sites in Brittany's Carnacstenarna that have been dated prior to 4000 BC as well.

This kind of burial site has been designed to be monumental and clarify its purpose. The people who built these megalithic tombs attempted to achieve this through putting the dead into a pit that was surrounded by ditches that carefully drained and therefore raised the grave up to a level that was higher than its surroundings.

A monument that is above the ground is thought to be associated with the idea of collective memory. The early graves most like manifested ancestor worship. The practice is a reflection of a phase of social development that relates to communities were specialization of labor and social roles had developed.

The art on Egyptian burial monuments was tied directly to religious beliefs regarding existence of life following death. Therefore, images and works of wart were intended for preserving objects, social status and wealth in the journey from mortality to death and for keeping the memory alive. The Egyptian mummies in this context were encapsulate into one or multiple coffins and the major internal organs got stored inside a decorative ceremonial vessel called a kanoper. A specific kind of ancient Egyptian tomb inscription was a description of a funeral's purpose and its customs.

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