Eternities - Visions of the beyond

Musée des Confluences

The question of death is universal
This exhibition offers a perspective on the contemporary Occidental view of death with examples drawn from other eras and other cultural contexts.

Funerary objects and tombs here respond to testimonials and interviews with specialists who reflect on the ambiguous relationship that our societies maintain with death. In contrast with other living beings, the human being has the capacity to reflect on its own death.

Although this incomprehensible end of life is perceived differently by societies, it is always accompanied by funerary rituals. These practices enable us to re-establish the social order that has been disturbed by attributing a new place to each one. In addition, in many cultures, the boundary between the world of the living and that of the dead is only a transition and permits communication with the world beyond.

Mma funerary head
The presence of the ancestors is incarnated in cult objects. They are honoured in order to ensure descendants and material wealth for the living.

Canopic jar
Around the sarcophagus of the mummified person, offerings and furniture were arranged to provide it with identical conditions as during its life on earth

Statuette of a bearded man
This funerary object is one of the most remarkable in the collection of pre-dynastic Egypt (Nagada culture, 3800-3150 B.C.) of the musée des Confluences.

Statuette of a bearded man
These statuettes with a funerary role likely symbolised the masculine power of the deceased.

False head
Rituals related to the preparation of a fardo and its burial enabled the transition of the deceased to the status of ancestor.

Female tomb
The necropolis of Koban, located in the mountains of the North Caucasus, revealed bones and funerary objects contributing a better understanding of the daily life of these Europeans who lived 3,000 years ago.

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