FAQ: Why Do They Excavate Dead In Greece?

Why are bodies exhumed in Greece?

A shortage of burial space in Greek cities means thousands of bodies have to be exhumed from graveyards every year. For those who can afford it, the bones of the deceased are washed and stored in a wooden box and held at an ossuary. The empty graves are then used for other people’s funerals.

How did the Greeks treat their dead?

The Greeks believed that at the moment of death, the psyche, or spirit of the dead, left the body as a little breath or puff of wind. The deceased was then prepared for burial according to the time-honored rituals.

What is the importance of remembrance of the dead in Greek?

CLASS. To the ancient Greeks, death was the gateway to the afterlife, and a funeral was an essential rite of passage to help the traveler on his or her way. Remembrance of the dead ensured their immortality, and was deemed so important that childless people adopted heirs to take care of their funeral arrangements.

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Why are graves exhumed?

Investigators usually exhume a body to perform examinations or tests that it didn’t receive before burial. This could be because the original investigators didn’t think such examinations or tests were necessary, because there weren’t sufficient resources to perform them or because the right technology didn’t exist yet.

Why Greeks are exhuming their parents?

Cemeteries in Greek cities are so overcrowded that bodies are often only kept in the ground for three years. Then families have to pay for exhumation – and for the bones to be kept in a building known as an ossuary.

Do Greeks do cremation?

ATHENS — Greece has broken with a centuries-old Orthodox religious tradition, adopting a law allowing cremation of the dead. According to the law, Orthodox Greeks can choose cremation as long as they have stated this in writing before their death or their immediate relatives wish it.

Where do Greek souls go after death?

In mythology, the Greek underworld, REFERRED to as Hades, is the shadowy place below the earth where souls go after death. The Greek underworld is said to be invisible to the living, and is ruled by the god Hades.

What happens when a Greek person dies?

In Greek culture, it is believed that the soul does not leave the body until three days after a person dies. Because of this, the family will visit the grave three days after the death for a small ceremony where a priest blesses a plate of koliva, scatters it to the wind, and then breaks the plate on the tombstone.

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What happens to unburied souls?

The Greeks regarded the burial of the dead as one of the most sacred duties. Its neglect involved an offence against the dead; for, according to the popular belief, the soul obtained no rest in the realms of the dead, so long as the body remained unburied.

What does Ekphora mean?

Ekphora means literally ‘the carrying out of one’s body’—specifically from one’s home to one’s place of burial.

Why did Greeks place a coin in the mouth of a dead person at funerals?

Greek and Latin literary sources specify the coin as an obol, and explain it as a payment or bribe for Charon, the ferryman who conveyed souls across the river that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.

Did everyone go to Hades?

Not everyone could enter, because not everyone had golden coins to pay the fare. Three judges, by the names of Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus, would then decide where you would go. People that lived normal lives would go to The Fields of Asphodel.

What happens to a body in a sealed casket?

If the coffin is sealed in a very wet, heavy clay ground, the body tends to last longer because the air is not getting to the deceased. If the ground is light, dry soil, decomposition is quicker. As those coffins decompose, the remains will gradually sink to the bottom of the grave and merge.

Do embalmed bodies decay?

Embalmed bodies eventually decompose too, but exactly when, and how long it takes, depends largely on how the embalming was done, the type of casket in which the body is placed, and how it is buried.

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Do caskets explode underground?

Subscribe today. But dead bodies have a tendency to rot, and when they do so above ground, the consequences are – to put it nicely — unpleasant. When the weather turns warm, in some cases, that sealed casket becomes a pressure cooker and bursts from accumulated gases and fluids of the decomposing body.

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