The Funerary World in the Ebro Lands

By Museu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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.

Human remains by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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.

Neolithic burial by CalidoscopiMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Vessel by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Neolithic beaker by UnknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Shellsmade rigid bangle by UnknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Neolithic necklace by UnknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Axe by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

He was also accompanied by stone tools.

Axe by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Neolithic grave goodsMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Urn with ears handles with grave goods by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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.

Iberic burial by CalidoscopiMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

urn by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

The ceramic containers have an evolution towards a standard model.

urn by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

urn by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Turned vase with stone tile.

urn by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Urn by UnknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

urn by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Chain belt by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Belt Buckle by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Belt buckle with typical incised decoration.

Fíbula (Brooch) by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Falcata by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Soliferreum by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Amphora by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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.

Roman burial by CalidoscopiMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Hypothetical historical reconstruction of a burial ritual from Roman times.

Lamp by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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

Vessel by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Vessel deposited as an offering for libations.

Jug by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Vase deposited as an offering.

Funerary Stela by unknownMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

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.

Medieval burial by CalidoscopiMuseu de les Terres de l'Ebre

Hypothetical historical reconstruction of a burial in the medieval period.

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.
Explore more
Related theme
Spain: A Crossroads of Culture
From sights to sounds to smells, experience Spanish culture in every sense
View theme
Google apps