Eternities - Visions of the beyond

General view of the exhibition EternitiesMusée 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.

General view of the exhibition EternitiesMusée des Confluences

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.

General view of the exhibition EternitiesMusée des Confluences

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 (Fin 19e-début 20e siècle)Musée des Confluences

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.

Dummy canopic jars (945-525 av. J.-C.)Musée des Confluences

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

Bearded men (3300-3100 av. J.-C. (Nagada))Musée des Confluences

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.

Bearded man (3800-3500 av. J.-C. (Nagada))Musée des Confluences

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

False head (Entre 800 et 900)Musée des Confluences

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 (967-813 av. J.-C.)Musée des Confluences

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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