mortuary house

'mortuary house' can also refer to...


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A simple timber structure in which one or more corpses was placed, perhaps with some grave goods. As such it performed the role of sepulchre and in some cases it remained freestanding and was allowed to decay naturally. In most instances, however, an earthen mound (barrow) was raised over the structure. Mortuary houses were probably constructed as replicas of actual dwellings; in some cases the deceased were in fact buried in their own homes that were burnt or covered in a mound.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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