Universiteit Leiden

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La crémation à Alexandrie et dans l’Égypte grecque et romaine: étude d'une pratique à travers ses urnes cinéraires

This research aims to study the practice of cremation in Alexandria and Graeco-Roman Egypt, through the examination of its cinerary urns.

C. Harlaut
13 September 2022
The publication in Open Access

Re-examination of the necropolises and tombs in which these urns have been unearthed since the 19th century has shed new light on the categories of people concerned by this practice, whether it is a personal choice of anonymous individuals or a custom of the Ptolemaic state for people whose funerals were supported by the Crown. Analysis of anthropological data from a selection of Alexandrian cinerary urns has made it possible to reconstruct a theoretical framework on the various stages of the funeral ceremony, from the construction of the pyre to the collection of the bone remains and deposition in the grave. Finally, elaborating a typo-chronological study of these urns enabled us to determine four major periods along which the frequency and methods of cremation evolved, between the foundation of Alexandria and the 2nd century AD.

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