Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/3/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Practice is at least 14,000 years old, with discovery of Israeli burial grounds

At graveside, we frequently leave behind flowers in memory of the deceased. Archaeologists say that humans have been decorating graves with flowers for almost 14,000 years. The first evidence the tradition of floral tributes has been dug up in Israel where sage, mint and other plants were used in ceremonial burials.

When we leave flowers on gravesites today, it is intended as a sign of respect or remembrance. In ancient times - flowers probably served a more utilitarian purpose - disguising the stench of the rotting corpse.

When we leave flowers on gravesites today, it is intended as a sign of respect or remembrance. In ancient times - flowers probably served a more utilitarian purpose - disguising the stench of the rotting corpse.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/3/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Flowers, burials, gravesites, ancient tradition, smell, rememberance


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When we leave flowers on gravesites today, it is intended as a sign of respect or remembrance. In ancient times - flowers probably served a more utilitarian purpose - disguising the stench of the rotting corpse. It was also believed that scent of the plants would stop animals being attracted to the grave to dig up the body.

The ancient Romans often laid out the ground of the tomb as a garden so the spirit could enjoy itself as it wandered.

The latest example of this practice was found at the bottom of 13,700 to 11,700 year-old graves at a scenic prehistoric burial spot known as Raqefet Cave overlooking the Mediterranean coast.

Professor Dani Nadel and his team used radiocarbon dating on the lining of tombs containing 29 skeletons, of children and adults, with four containing large plant impressions identified as the stems of sage, mint and figwort.

"Flowering plants possess mechanisms that stimulate positive emotional and social responses in humans," Professor Nadel, an archaeologist at Haifa University in Israel says.

"It's difficult to establish when people started to use flowers in public and ceremonial events because of the scarcity of relevant evidence in the archaeological record.

"We report on uniquely preserved 13,700-11,700-year-old grave linings made of flowers suggesting such use began much earlier than previously thought."

Part of plants cells called phytoliths from grasses, leaves, reeds and sedges were identified all over the cave and on its terrace.

Crafted and natural stone objects, perhaps as markers or symbols, as well as a prevalence of flints and butchered animal bones suggesting celebratory feasts.

"Some of the plant species attest to spring burials with a strong emphasis on colorful and aromatic flowers," Nadel said.

"Cave floor chiseling to accommodate the desired grave location and depth is also evident at the site. Thus, grave preparation was a sophisticated planned process, embedded with social and spiritual meanings reflecting a complex pre-agricultural society undergoing profound changes at the end of the Pleistocene."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Spark of Life: Scientists discover moment souls enter eggs at the time of conception Watch

Image of Researchers discovered a spark at the moment human eggs are fertilized (Angels/Fanpop).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a miraculous, literally life-changing discovery, scientists have discovered the moment a soul enters a fertilized egg. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Catholics have long believed life begins at the moment of conception, which is why in vitro fertilization and ... continue reading


Amazing Christ sighting: Image reveals Jesus on the cross Watch

Image of Woman discovers Christ on cross during baby shower (Aley Meyer).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mother-to-be Aley Meyer was so excited to have a child, she didn't notice the image of Christ until someone else pointed it out during her baby shower. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "She was like, 'do you see this?' And I was like, 'see what?' And she pointed to ... continue reading


Top 10 hilarious dog memes Watch

Image of Dogs are man's best friend - and sometimes they're downright hilarious!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The internet may be full of cat videos but let's face it: Dogs are more expressive, more adorable and much more entertaining! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Calling all dog people! Have you ever wondered what your dog would say if it could speak people?Maybe your ... continue reading


5 things Catholics should NEVER do in their marriage Watch

Image of God wants the best for our relationships, so keep these tips in mind (John Yoder).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

If you've been married long enough to pass the honeymoon phase, you know maintaining a relationship can be hard - especially when you feel you aren't being heard or if you've begun to communicate through a series of screaming matches. So how can you keep calm and enjoy ... continue reading


'The embryo has an amazing ability to correct itself:' Mothers may have been killing perfectly healthy babies Watch

Image of New study indicates false positives for fetal abnormalities.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

For years pregnant mothers were tested and told their unborn children contained abnormal cells, indicating a higher possibility of developmental disorders such as Down's syndrome.Many of these mothers choose to abort for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately for these ... continue reading


'It's heartbreaking': Pet cat shot 30 times - AND SURVIVED Watch

Image of Puss-Puss miraculously survived shotgun wounds (PA).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When cat-owner Doug Taw heard a few gunshots in his Ardleigh, Essex neighborhood, he thought nothing of it. He continued with his regular routine until he realized his 3-year-old cat, Puss-Puss, didn't come home that night. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According ... continue reading


Once upon a time, pro-life meant being a Democrat Watch

Image of To be pro-life was not always to be Republican (CNA).

By Mary Rezac (CNA)

"(W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I'm about as liberal as your grandmother. I don't like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far." Washington D.C.  (CNA) - So said then-Senator Joe Biden <a ... continue reading


So incest is okay now? This is the most disgusting thing you'll read all day. Watch

Image of Kim West, 52 and her biological son, Ben Ford, 32, have gone into hiding to avoid jail. The pair hope to have a baby together.

By Marshall Connolly, (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"I'm in love with my son, and I want to have his baby." This comes from a 51 year old woman who is reportedly in love with her 32 year old son, and intends to get pregnant by him. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Over thirty years ago, a young Kim West gave her ... continue reading


'We definitely believe in miracles': Pregnant woman waived cancer treatment to protect her unborn son Watch

Image of Kim Vaillancourt struggled with cancer through her pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby boy (GoFundMe).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Kim Vaillancourt was five months pregnant when she, her husband Phil and their two children welcomed three sisters into their family. Two days later, the family was set to celebrate Christmas but instead of a family meal and presents, Kim was diagnosed with brain ... continue reading


What does Pope Francis have to say about preparation for marriage? Watch

Image of

By Catholic News Agency

Among the less-noticed passages of Pope Francis' new exhortation was a lengthy section on marriage preparation, a subject that the pontiff has repeatedly spoken on, calling for additional focus at the diocesan and parish levels. Vatican City, (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 5th, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: I fear no evil!
  • 'Our warriors are everywhere': ISIS uses CHILDREN to threaten Europe
  • Captain James Cook wreckage discovered!
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • St. Florian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 04, 2016
  • St. Matthew HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2016 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first ... Read More