On our visit to Archaeology and Byzantine museums in Thessaloniki, we were dumbstruck by the enormous emphasis on tombstones.
In Ancient times, these Greek tombstones were not only the mark of the dead, but they also represented the art and advancements at that time. From simple stone burial pieces to elaborate artworks, these burial rites and tombstones changed a lot over time. These changes often reflect the chronology of civilization and advancements.
The artwork and size of these tombstones depended upon the social and economic status of the deceased and their family (surprise! surprise!). We found some exemplary tombstones in both Archaeology and Byzantine museum in Thessaloniki.
Archaeological museum of Thessaloniki
These sophisticated tombstones showed how skilled the worker were at that time and what tools they have already learned to use. What were their symbols for social status? For examples, the educated scholar’s portraits had a parchment in their right hands.
The burial rites were an important part of Greek culture and could take from 2-5 days then. Often the deceased were accompanied with some of their belongings. After a few days, the bones and remains are recovered back and stored in clay vessels.
Byzantine museum of art and culture Thessaloniki
Greek tombstones changed over times as their civilization grew more advanced. The artwork changed a lot. From “family portrait” to elaborate paintings and mosaic art.
The reason I chose to write about tombstones and burial rites is not Spooky October, but because I found it very interesting how tombstones could be integrated so well in culture and traditions. How accurately they represent the advancements of the society still amazes me.
If you are wondering why I am promoting #OffbeatGreece, I explained the Whys and Hows here. This article is a part of the 31 days series #OffbeatGreece I started in October 2016. You can find more articles from this series here.
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