5500 BC - 1500

The Funerary World in the Ebro Lands

Museu de les Terres de l'Ebre

The Museum presents a vision of the funerary practices in the Ebro Lands from the earliest entombment burials of the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, through the incinerations of the Iberian world, and the change to the burials of the Roman world, related to the Eastern cults and the spread of Christianity.

Prehistory: Another Life
In the sixth millennium BC, in the lower reaches of the Ebro, in addition to the first settlements, different types of outdoor graves have been documented. The rapid appearance and development of funerary practices in the first peasant communities in the Ebro, and the complexity of the ritual indicates not only reinforced the group's integration, but also formed a bond of belonging to the land.

Hypothetical historical reconstruction of a burial in the Neolithic in the Ebre Lands.

The deceased, buried in an individual grave, would be accompanied by a simple funeral garment with ceramic vessels... laid at their side.

The deceased was buried with his ornaments: bracelets of different types, necklaces, etc.

He was also accompanied by stone tools.

Protohystory: The Cremation of the Body
Contacts between the different European peoples favoured the adoption of a new funerary ritual that reflected an ideological change in society. It consisted of the incineration of the corpse, the deposition of the bones and ashes in a ceramic container, the urn, which was buried in a small cavity accompanied by grave goods.

Historical reconstruction of the ritual of burial in the Iberian period.

The ceramic containers have an evolution towards a standard model.

Handmade urn without lid. Vessel, widely used in the kitchen, where the ashes of the deceased were stored.

Turned vase with stone tile.

Cup-vessel closed with a plate and reused as a cinerary container.

Urn with painted decoration, prototype of the ballot box but with handles.

The model that triumphed was the urn made by turning and painted with geometric or vegetal decoration.

The grave godos was composed of objects of adornment, objects of personal use and an array of weapons.

Belt buckle with typical incised decoration.

The fibula was used to fasten and join pieces of clothing.

The falcata was a typical Iberian sword, it is the main element of the warrior panoply.

Soliferrum ritually folded. It was a long spear, about 2 meters long, and formed part of the warlike panoply.

Roman World: Crossing the Acheron River
Bodies were buried in cemeteries established along the sides of routes. A ritual was established to perpetuate the memory of the deceased through libations, banquets and offerings. Two of the most popular offerings were placing a coin in the dead man's mouth to pay for the trip to the afterlife, and crossing the Acheron River, and leaving a lamp.

Hypothetical historical reconstruction of a burial ritual from Roman times.

The lamp was a symbol of the life cycle, it was used to illuminate the world of darkness.

Vessel deposited as an offering for libations.

Vase deposited as an offering.

Medieval Times: The Last Judgement
Judaism, Christianity and Islam are three monotheistic religions, in prophetic tradition, based on divine revelation, an ethical orientation and a linear concept of history that begins with creation and ends with the resurrection of the dead and the final judgement.

Hypothetical historical reconstruction of a burial in the medieval period.

Museu de les Terres de l'Ebre
Credits: Story

Consorci del Museu de les Terres de l'Ebre
Texts: M.Villalbí
Audiovisuals: Calidoscopi
Historical Recreations: Arqueolític, Ibercalafell, Nemésis i Terra Feudal

Museu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content.
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