Minoan Burial

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The Minoans, like many other early communities, had set ritualistic practices for burying their deceased. Inhumations were given as respect to the dead. They were placed in the foetal position, maybe so they could be born again. The bodies were often buried with their possessions so that they could take them to the afterlife and be supplied for a new life. However they believed that once the flesh had gone from the body then the possessions were worthless and were often cleaned out or moved to storage. Once a person died, they were laid out to be viewed for 2 days, in which this time people came to pay their respects. Women sung and grieved while men prayed to the gods. On the 3rd day the cart was taken by cart to the tomb. During the Minoan period, their methods of burying the dead changed dramatically. After the Neolithic times onwards at first the dead were buried in caves. The bones found in these caves are usually in a disordered state with many bodies all in one group. It was common for these bones to be found with burn marks due to being sacrificed. They were probably disordered as they were repeated burials without knowledge of others buried below. In the early Bronze Age, the Minoans began making rectangular tombs to bury their deceased in. They were also known as house tombs. There were two types of rectangular tombs; ones with long narrow chambers in a single rectangular building, and a series of square rooms inside a single building. The second type had stone walls of 2.5m with rooves. The best examples of these have been found at Mochlos, some being built into cliff faces. They originated in the east and northeast during the EM II period and dying off around the MM III period. Evidence suggests that these tombs were used for multiple burials at a time and were cleaned every so often. When this happened, the older bones, and other contents of the tomb were piled up in storage of against a wall to make more room for the new bodies. Ossuaries were...
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