You can’t judge a book by it’s cover; as much of a cliche as it is, the saying holds truth. However, when the content of the book is examined, one can gather a lot of information about the book. This goes for ancient civilizations as well: we may not know precise details on every aspect of the people living in the cities lives, but one can conclude a great deal of information based on their cultural customs. One aspect providing people with insight into the culture was the burial practices. They range from ornate ceremonies to simple affairs, but what each distinct practice allows for, is personal interpretation of the people in various civilizations and their view on the afterlife.
For the ancient Christians, the burial ritual was rather plain. Upon checking to make sure the person was dead, the eyes were closed and the mouth was shut. The body would then be washed with warm water, and gently wrapped in linens. Unlike today, where people use a casket to hold the deceased, the ancient Christians placed the bodies in a tomb and sealed it shut with a large stone. The delicate washing and wrapping of the bodies is very telling into their thought of the after life, for the ritual was far from extravagant. Christians believe in Heaven; a place where ones soul is brought after dying. In Heaven, everything is perfect and there is no need for anything that we have on Earth; hence the tombs are only filled with bodies, not the possessions that the person had. Christians saw earth as a stepping stone, because the real treasure of Heaven is being with Jesus. There is life after death, an abundant life in Heaven, so the things of the world no longer have value. These beliefs impacted the culture of ancient Christian societies. They were no...
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...e other world, then they wouldn 't need to bring belongings with them. However, this could be taken in two different ways, maybe they were not taking the items for themselves but for the mischievous souls or evil lurkers that held power. Greek, Islamic and Prehistoric people all knew of the darkness in the afterlife, and they cushioned the fall into darkness as well as they knew how, by respecting, and giving the body a proper burial. Christians on the other hand had a different view on the afterlife. Believing that their life on Earth was nothing compared to the life they would share with God in Heaven, they generally focused on their relationship with Jesus. All of these burial practices are enlightening to see what the people may have believed based on their rituals. Although they were different, they revolved around respecting the person and the life they lived.
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