(ORDO NEWS) — In Turkey, archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old tomb that was covered with bricks and covered with “dead nails”, probably to “protect the living from the dead”.
The archeological site at Sagalassos, a funeral pyre was found surrounded by lime plaster, 24 neatly stacked bricks, and 41 bent and twisted nails randomly strewn around the edges of the funeral pyre.
The person, an adult male, was cremated and buried in the exact location, which was unusual in Roman times.
“The burial was closed in not one, not two, but three different ways, which can be understood as attempts to keep the living from the dead – or vice versa,” study author Johan Klais, an archaeologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.
Burials outside the city were discovered and studied as part of the Sagalassos archaeological research project.
Roman cremations usually involved lighting a funeral pyre, collecting the remains, placing them in an urn, and burying them in a cemetery or mausoleum.
However, the researchers determined from the anatomical arrangement of the remaining bones that the cremation at Sagalasso was carried out on site.
Claes believes his family most likely buried the man with a ceremony that took several days to plan and execute.
“Whether the cause of death was traumatic, mysterious, or potentially the result of a contagious illness or punishment, the researchers concluded in the study, it appears to have caused the living to fear the return of the deceased,” Claes added.
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