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Sarcophagus : Ancient Graves

Sarcophagus: Ancient Graves

Palestinian workers in the Gaza Strip recently found dozens of ancient graves, including two Sarcophagus made of lead, in a cemetery dating back about 2,000 years to the Roman Empire.

  • Sarcophagus is an above-ground stone container for a coffin or dead body that often is often decorated with art, inscriptions, and carvings.
  • The word sarcophagus comes from the Greek “sarx” meaning “flesh,” and “phagien” meaning “to eat,” so that sarcophagus literally translates as “eater of flesh.”
  • First used in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, the sarcophagus gradually became popular throughout the ancient world.
  • It carried over through the later years of European society, often used for high status members of the clergy, government, or aristocracy.
  • They are almost always made of stone, limestone being the most popular, but sometimes of granite, sandstone, or marble.
  • They were usually made by being carved, decorated, or constructed ornately.
  • Some were built to be freestanding above ground, as a part of an elaborate tomb or tombs.
  • Others were made for burial, or were placed in crypts.