ancient grave

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Lindholm Høje, Denmark

Lindholm Høje (Lindholm Hills, from Old Norse haugr, hill or mound) is a major Viking burial site and former settlement situated to the north of and overlooking the city of Aalborg in Denmark.

The southern (lower) part of Lindholm Høje dates to 1000 – 1050 AD, the Viking Age, while the northern (higher) part is significantly earlier, dating back to the 5th century AD in the Nordic Iron Age. An unknown number of rocks have been removed from the site over the centuries, many, for example, being broken up in the 19th century for use in road construction.

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The Ancient faces of the Fayum mummy portraits

Egypt


Mummy portraits or Fayum mummy portraits (also Faiyum mummy portraits) is the modern term given to a type of naturalistic painted portrait on wooden boards attached to Egyptian mummies from the Coptic period. They belong to the tradition of panel painting, one of the most highly regarded forms of art in the Classical world. In fact, the Fayum portraits are the only large body of art from that tradition to have survived.

 Mummy portraits have been found across Egypt, but are most common in the Faiyum Basin, particularly from Hawara in the Fayum Basin (hence the common name) and the Hadrianic Roman city Antinoopolis. “Faiyum Portraits” is generally thought of as a stylistic, rather than a geographic, description. While painted cartonnage mummy cases date back to pharaonic times, the Faiyum mummy portraits were an innovation dating to the Coptic period at the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt.

 They date to the Roman period, from the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD onwards. It is not clear when their production ended, but recent research suggests the middle of the 3rd century. They are among the largest groups among the very few survivors of the highly prestigious panel painting tradition of the classical world, which was continued into Byzantine and Western traditions in the post-classical world, including the local tradition of Coptic iconography in Egypt.

 The portraits covered the faces of bodies that were mummified for burial. Extant examples indicate that they were mounted into the bands of cloth that were used to wrap the bodies. Almost all have now been detached from the mummies. They usually depict a single person, showing the head, or head and upper chest, viewed frontally. In terms of artistic tradition, the images clearly derive more from Graeco-Roman traditions than Egyptian ones.

 Two groups of portraits can be distinguished by technique: one of encaustic (wax) paintings, the other in tempera. The former are usually of higher quality. About 900 mummy portraits are known at present. The majority were found in the necropoleis of Faiyum. Due to the hot dry Egyptian climate, the paintings are frequently very well preserved, often retaining their brilliant colours seemingly unfaded by time.

Personally I`ve seen some at the Museum and was stunned and hypnotized by the ancient 2000 year-old faces looking at me as if they were there with me.

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Gavr’inis cairn (around 3.500 B.C.), Île de Gavrinis, Breizh 2017.

The burial chamber is reached from the outside by a 14m long corridor. Of the 29 orthostat slabs that form the sides of the passage, 23 are decorated with carved symbols and patterns.

“It is for its art that Gavrinis is famous. No fewer than twenty-three of it’s twenty-nine upright stones have been carved, not in single or isolated motifs but in a profuse series of compositions so that stone flows into stone or is mirrored by another in patterns engraved in low relief. The art is balanced in panels horizontally and vertically in symbols of which the main elements are concentric arcs and axes. These latter implements have splayed cutting edges like the big, prestige axes from the Carnac Mounds.” - A. Burl

The last stone in my photos has 3 horizontal hand sized holes about 10 cm deep similar to kerbstone 52 at Newgrange (which was built supposedly around 300 years later).

Central Asian Bronze Sword, 1200-800 BC

From the Caspian Sea region. A unique bronze short sword with double terminals that look like budding long-petaled flowers, a very rare style. This weapon does not bear marks of having been repeatedly sharpened for use so it was probably made specifically to accompany a warrior in death as grave goods.

The area around the Caspian Sea, particularly on its southeast coast, and into modern day Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (western Pakistan), was a cultural hotbed during this time period. The map of archaeological finds from there is studded with urban centers, large burial mounds, and technological and metallurgical innovation - especially in the production of amazing bronze artifacts, probably with influence from the innovative bronze (and later iron) artisans in Luristan (modern day northwestern Iran). People - both men and women - went to their graves with beautiful, well-made weapons like this one that were more than likely a sign of high status.

ALLEMAGNE MAI 2016

Mysticisme et féerie au cimetière juif de Worms. Une merveilleuse découverte et assurément mon coup de coeur de ce séjour en Allemagne. C'est dur de trouver les mots pour décrire ce lieu, le plus vieux cimetière juif d'Europe qui a survécu au temps et à la barbarie nazie (ce qui est vraiment extraordinaire). C'est peut être pourquoi on s'y sent comme hors du temps. Coupé du monde extérieur, très peu de tombes modernes et surtout le silence absolue.

(Mysticism and fairy at the jew’s cemetery in Worms. A marvellous discovery and definetly my favourite place during this trip in Germany. It is hard to find the right words to discribe this place, the oldest jew’s cemetery in all Europe. Which has survived the ravages of time , specialy the Nazi barbarism (a trully incredible fact). It is probably why we really fell out of time here. Completely cut off from the outside world. Only a few modern grave stone and above all absolute silence.)

Inside the burial chamber of Tutankhamun, standing at the head of the sarcophagus. Along with the outermost coffin, which still contains the Pharaoh’s mummy, the sarcophagus is the only artifact left in the tomb among the thousands he was buried with. The small opening with bars on it at the foot of the sarcophagus leads into the treasury.

Buried For 1000 Years: The Graveyard Of Vikings.

As for the remains of settlements, it has been reported that the remains of two villages have so far been excavated, one situated to the north, and another to the south. The former is said to have been dated to 700 – 900 AD, whilst the latter to 1000 – 1150 AD. The northern village is said to consist of several houses, fences, five wells and a road. It has also been estimated that there were six families inhabiting this village, each of which consisting of between 10 and 15 family members. There were also smaller buildings for work purposes, and it has been suggested that spinning and weaving were carried out in such structures. Similar buildings were found in the southern village.  This was the last settlement on Lindholm Høje.

Lindholm Hoje is an ancient graveyard of the Vikings that had been lost for one thousand years, buried beneath thousands of tons of sand. As many as 700 burials, along with the remains of settlements from the Viking Age and the preceding Germanic Iron Age have been found at this important archaeological site in Denmark.

During the Cretaceous period, chalk formations were created along the Limfjord in Denmark. These formations, which are in the form of hills, stretch from Aalborg to the east. One of these hills is Lindholm Høje, which is situated on the northern side of the Limfjord, opposite the modern city of Aalborg. One reason that made this area an attractive place to establish a settlement is that this is where the Limfjord is at its narrowest, which made it an important crossing between the North Jutlandic Island and the Danish mainland. Apart from that, Lindholm Høje occupied a strategic defensive position. Rising to 42 m (137 ft.) above sea level, anyone living on the hill could command an excellent view over the fjord. This meant that if an enemy was approaching the hill, they would be easily detected. Thirdly, the soil on the hill is said to be drier than the surrounding area, which made cultivation easier.

Lindholm Høje was already settled around 400 AD. This is supported by the graves that were found at the site, the oldest of which have been dated to this point of time. These graves can be found on the top of the hill, and as one progresses down Lindholm Høje, the graves in turn become younger. The oldest graves are said to contain inhumation. This burial practice, however, is found to have changed not long after to cremation. Thus, the majority of graves (apart from the oldest ones) found at Lindholm Høje have been found to contain cremated human remains.

As for the remains of settlements, it has been reported that the remains of two villages have so far been excavated, one situated to the north, and another to the south. The former is said to have been dated to 700 – 900 AD, whilst the latter to 1000 – 1150 AD. The northern village is said to consist of several houses, fences, five wells and a road. It has also been estimated that there were six families inhabiting this village, each of which consisting of between 10 and 15 family members. There were also smaller buildings for work purposes, and it has been suggested that spinning and weaving were carried out in such structures. Similar buildings were found in the southern village.  This was the last settlement on Lindholm Høje.

One factor that may have resulted in the abandonment of the site as a place for human habitation is the phenomenon of sand drift. It has been stated that at the beginning of the Viking Age, most of Denmark was covered in forests. Over time, however, the trees were chopped down to make various things, such as houses, ships and roads. As a result of this deforestation, the land in the western part of Jutland became exposed to the rough westerly winds. This continuous exposure led to degradation in the quality of the soil, perhaps due to erosion. Additionally, large amounts of sand were carried by the winds, and covered the land.

When archaeologists began excavating in the 1950s, they found that Lindholm Høje was covered by a layer of sand that was several meters thick. The lack of suitable land for cultivation may have led the inhabitants of Lindholm Høje to migrate to somewhere else. On the other hand, the sand helped to preserve the burial sites, as well as the stone circles that marked the graves.

Hades Offerings

I myself am a bit poor and don’t have a lot of money at the moment to buy things to offer up. But with some of the things I’ve looked up this far some of the suggestions have been as followed.

• In the days of old they would pour their offerings into the ground to Hades. If you have an inside alter though, take a bowl, fill it with dirt, and pour your offerings into the dirt that way. When you get the chance, pour the dirt outside. 

• Food Offerings: Fish, Mint, Meat

• Dogs are sacred for obvious reasons, white mortuary flowers

Extra Information:

“…To honor the dead, or at least their memory, families regularly tended the tombs of their deceased. This included physical maintenance of the gravesite and tombstone as well as observing the anniversary of death by bringing offerings to the gravesites such as libations of milk and honey. Overall, this “cult” of the dead — mourning and burial rituals, maintaining the gravesite, and particularly the offerings at the tomb — suggest a belief that the dead were somehow present and active a their graves or under the earth in general, and might somehow watch over the living…”
–A Companion to Greek Religion, Daniel Ogden; page 88

“…The second aspect in the tendance of the family grave plot is the offerings made, one day each year, at the tombs of the family’s deceased. We know little of the nature of these offerings, but they probably included adorning the tombs with garlands, making libations of milk and honey and such things, and, perhaps a meal at the grave plot…”
–Ancient Greek Religion, Jon D. Mikalson; page 127

“…Libations which the earth drinks are destined for the dead and for the gods who dwell in the earth. A rite of this kind is already preformed by Odysseus as he conjures up the dead; around the offering pit he pours a libation for all the dead, first with a honey drink, then with wine, and thirdly with water; over this he strews white barley and beseeches the dead, promising future burnt sacrifices Similarly, in Aeschylus’ Persians, the queen brings milk, honey, water, wine, and oil and also flowers to the grave of the dead king…”
–Greek Religion, Walter Burkert; page 71

…The offerings for the dead are pourings, chaoi: barley broth, milk, honey, frequently wine and especially oil, as well as the blood of sacrificed aminals; there is also simple libations of water…As the libations seep into the earth, so, it is beleived, contact with the dead is established and prayers can reach them…”
–Greek Religion, Walter Burkert; page 194

“The cult of the dead seems to presuppose that the deceased is present and active at the place of burial, in the grave beneath the earth. The dead drink the pourings and indeed the blood — they are invited to come to the banquet, to the satiation with blood; as the libations seep into the earth, so the dead will send good things up above.”
–Greek Religion, Walter Burkert; page 194-5

…Offerings were made at the grave at the time of the funeral. These always included chaoi, libations of honey, milk, water, wine or oil mixed with in varying amounts. There was also a “supper” (deipnon or dais) of various foods; the dead who partook of these were sometimes described as eudeipnoi, which we best can translated, perhaps, as “those who are content with their meal.” The word, a euphemism, seems to reflect hope that, once nourished, the dead would realize that they had nothing to complain about. There is some evidence that water was also given to the dead person so that he could wash, just a host would give a living guest water in which to watch before a meal. Offerings to the dead might also include jewelry, flowers, small objects used in everyday life such as swords, strigils, toys, and mirrors…offerings were made on the anniversary of the deceased’s birth, death, or both, and that survivors made additional offerings whenever they wanted the help of the dead person, or when ever they wanted him or her to participate, albeit distantly, in a family occasion such as a wedding.
–Restless Dead: Encounters Between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece, Sarah Iles Johnston; pages 41-43