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A generic name applied to a vase or jar, generally with a rounded body, narrow neck, and a height greater than its maximum diameter, that was used (not necessarily exclusively) to contain the cremated remains of the dead. The name has become applied to some styles of prehistoric pottery (e.g. collared urns) because examples were found in burial contexts before they were widely recognized on contemporary settlement sites. Many prehistoric urns are simply domestic vessels of a style preferentially selected for use in burial rites; in later times ceramics were especially produced for use in burial and ceremonial situations.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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