What took with you, going to the afterlife? Historical research "My Planet"

Is there any other thing after this life? And if the answer is "yes", is it possible to prepare for it? Not only Homo Sapiens suffer this issue – his ancestors thought about it. On the development of ideas about the afterlife Archaeologists make conclusions on the funeral inventory: subjects that can be found in burials.

Renaissance metaphor

Ocher. Neanderthal’s bodies in burials are usually found lying in the posture of sleep or the embryo – probably the ancestors of man believed in the time of death and the possibility of returning to life. In the French commune of La Shapell-o-Sep in 1908, a man was found from the middle Paleolithic body, which was sprinkled with a red okra and registered quartz. Natural pigment of hydrate oxide and clay with shades from yellow to red is still symbolic for, for example, Australian Aborigines. Red Ossociation resembles blood – possibly sprinkling her body, ancient people expressed hope that one day the deceased will come back again and the blood will flow again on his veins, writes historian Andrei teeth in the work "Prehistoric and non-historical religions".

Flint. Archaeologists found in the burials of Neanderthals, besides the instruments of labor, and pieces of untreated silica – they were put under the head of the dead as a pillow. Perhaps these stones were supposed to become a material for guns that a person would have made after death. The teeth considers the silica flint and writes: "In the silica, it may be resting. Also in man. Being a fiery, seeking spiritual energy to the sky. With death, this energy is released and rushes to his primary source. ". Footprints are found in burials since the middle Paleolithic until late Middle Ages – the coal layers are even in Slavic burials. Historian Tatyana Panova in the Book "The Kingdom of Death" about our funeral rites notes the pagan faith in the purification force of fire.

In Pomerania from fear that after death, the dead man will become a vampire or rhenberry, in the grave put a fishing network, a piece of paper with unfinished song, prayer or verse from the Bible

Sinks. In the graves of the Upper Paleolitis, there are a lot of shells: for example, the grave of men in Moravia age 25,000 – 30,000 years old was covered with shells. First, they could serve as decoration. Secondly, tubular clams in shape resemble men’s genitals, and bivalve mollusks and shells Kauri – Women. Together they symbolize fertility and the beginning of a new life, and their presence in the grave gives hope for the future revival.

Flowers, cereals, grain and bread. The tradition of laying flowers on the coffin or the grave of the deceased goes back to Neanderthals. For example, in the hand of the young man, found near Musdom (south-west of France) found traces of medicinal plants. In Iran in the Sanidar cave in Neanderthal burial on the skeleton, the skeleton lay late spring flowers, which were preserved due to dry climate. Mircea Eliad writes that 10,000 – 13,000 years ago, when people moved to a settled lifestyle and engaged in agriculture, cereals appeared in burials, fried grain. The teeth are confident that both flowers and ears and grains symbolize victory over death – every fall of the plants die and every spring grows again.


Butter. The number of funeral inventory in Neolithic (late Stone Stone – from 9500 to 2000 years before. NS.) reduced, but in the graves of that time regularly find a small vessel in which, apparently, vegetable oil was. For the first time, such "oils" appeared approximately in the VI-V Millennium BC. NS. in Mesopotamia. The teeth emphasize that the oil was at that time a mandatory attribute of the human life in the desert – allowed to work under the scorching sun. According to the historian’s thoughts, in the afterlime world, the oil was no longer the body, but the soul of man, exhausted life in a cruel and imperfect world. To the ancient "Maslenka" in the graves, the tradition of use of girlfriend in liturgical practices.

Whorse. Ceramic, wooden and stone figurines are regularly found in Egyptian burials – their number in one grave or tomb could range from several pieces to hundreds. Often they tried to make similar to the deceased. According to Egyptian mythology, the doll of the Ushebt could be replaced by the deceased at work in the fields of Osiris, the king of the Merbal World. That is why the Egyptians tried to get as much as possible to raise themselves to free themselves from work. Instructions for revivaling servants are in papyrus (including in the Egyptian book of the dead) and the walls of the tomb. Read more about the topic in our article "Story of Things: The Book of the Dead".

Oola Kharona. In the mythologies of different nations, the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtraveling in the afterlife in the boat is distributed. Carrier, which Greeks and Romans called Haron, need to pay. For this, the dead men in the last way were given Obol – copper, silver, gold or bronze coin. Her was put in his mouth dead, and in the case of cremation, Oolas lay next to the urn. The custom was distributed not only in the Middle East, in Greece and Rome, but also among the Germans and Celts, and Panova writes about Oolah in the burials of Slavs in the north-west of ancient Russia. Perhaps wallets with silver in the mounds of nomads in the Middle East and coins in the burial roals of Vikings play a similar role. That to paper money, then in Marco Polo’s recordings there is a story about burning bills during the Chinese funeral procession – probably only in this form they could be useful late.

North American Indians were forbidden to pronounce the names of the dead, and all the material reminders were buried along with the body

What took with you, going to the afterlife historical research

A boat. In 1954, the foot of the pyramid of Heops found a cache with the details of the boat – presumably, she could serve as the transport of Pharaoh in the underground kingdom. Later archaeologists managed to get a part of another solar barky from the cache. Germans, francs and Vikings existed a tradition of the burial of those killed in a boat: the body was put in Barcas with another funeral inventory (weapons, coins), and on top of mounded Kurgan.

Protection of the dead and peace of living

Personal things. Sometimes in the burials find the means of hygiene of the late and fragments of dishes. Archaeologist Heinrich Hercc in the article Grave Goods in Early Medieval Burials: Messages and Meanings writes that in some cases they put them in the grave to protect the deceased from black magic. In other cases, it was necessary, on the contrary, to get rid of the "polluted" death of objects. Sometimes a dead man intentionally forgotten: North American Indians (Apache, Navajo), the names of the dead were forbidden to pronounce, and all the material reminders were buried along with the body.

Amulets, charms and deterrent. In some cases, betraying dead earth, it was necessary to make sure that he would not disturb the living. For this, the body can be associated, dismantled, fill up with stones – so with the bodies they received both Kromanonians and Vikings. Hercv says that in Polaria from fear that after death the dead will become a vampire or a rhenberry, in the grave put a fishing network, a piece of paper with unfinished song, prayer or verse from the Bible. Alanov in the North Caucasus in the grave left a broken mirror, protecting amulets find in the graves of Angloosaxes. Southern Slavs, according to Panova, pierced the chest or forehead with long iron nails.

Problems of interpretation

With the spread of Christianity, the traditions of the funeral inventory began to fade. Today, archaeologists work with what came to them after a thousand years. Something has time to decompose. Something disappeared after plundering the graves (Etruscans, for example, to prevent this, added to things for the deceased sign that meant "from the tomb"). Something from the found first considered the funeral inventory, and in fact, foreign objects could remain, for example, from the settlement at the burial place – this is exactly what the inappropriate artifacts appear in our days.

The main problem when studying the funeral inventory is that scientists often only build guesses on the meaning of certain objects in the disposal. Some things are designed for the afterlife, others (weapons, tools, status symbols) reflect what the person did during life (and maybe both?). In the burials find gifts to the dead man, the remains of posthumous meal, religious items, to the gods, as well as such things, the appointment of which archaeologists today can no longer explain. However, if the afterlime world exists, there will definitely understand everything.

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