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

Will South Carolina be able to banish abortions forever? Watch

Image of South Carolina bans abortions after 19 weeks (photosesh).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

South Carolina legislature passed a bill on Tuesday that puts an end to abortions after 19 weeks. Dare we hope the bill is the beginning of the end of abortion? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With South Carolina on board, there are seventeen U.S. states banning ... continue reading


How far would YOU go to find happiness? Watch

Image of Indian couple has first child in their 70s (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 70-year-old woman overcame an infertility with the help of several dead babies and one test tube baby. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daljinder Kaur and her husband Mohinder Singh Gill spent nearly fifty years of marriage unable to conceive.Finally, at roughly ... continue reading


Abortion: Science beats death with ... death? Watch

Image of Which is worse - murdering your unborn child or murdering them before they can get a fighting chance (pregnancyandbaby)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Abortion rates have hit a historic low in wealthy countries - but at what cost? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - To put it bluntly, abortion rates have dropped due to a rise in the use of contraceptives, not because more women have decided that murdering their ... continue reading


First-grader boasts National handwriting award despite having NO HANDS Watch

Image of Anaya Ellick won an award for having the best handwriting despite not having hands (Facebook).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 7-year-old girl who was born without hands beat fifty other first-graders in a national handwriting competition, proving anyone can do anything they put their mind to. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rather than accepting prosthetic hands, little Anaya Ellick ... continue reading


Man seeks bizarre RESTRAINING ORDER against God Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a strange request, an Israeli man has petitioned for a restraining order against God.     LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Representing himself in court, the unnamed man entered the Haifa Magistrate's Court in Israel and claimed God had been ... continue reading


'The doctors were shocked': Conjoined twins share unusual bond Watch

Image of The girls may be closer than most but they display very different personalities (Caters News Agency).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A beautiful set of newborn triplets were delivered via C-section at the Tanjungpinang Regional Genearal Hospital in Indonesia. The girls were strong and healthy with ten little toes and ten little fingers each - but there was one little problem: Two of the girls were ... continue reading


The gruesome way scientists are killing unborn babies in school labratories, with the consent of law Watch

Image of A human baby belongs in its mother's womb, not a petri dish or a garbage can.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have been conducting horrifying experiments on unborn babies, fertilizing eggs and seeing how long before they die in a test tube, outside of the womb. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's sounds like a horrifying lab experiment out of a prequel to ... continue reading


Top 10 Mother's Day gifts to surprise your mom Watch

Image of How will you surprise your mom this Mother's Day?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Are you tired of giving your mother the same old Mother's Day gifts? How many more pictures does mom really need? Perhaps it's time to stop ordering the same old flowers and move on to something a little more exciting. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Moms are not ... continue reading


Top 10 mothers from the Bible Watch

Image of Top 10 Biblical moms (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mothers are God's gift to us all. It is mothers who tend to love us with an unbridled passion and who can kiss all our boo-boos away - but what about the mothers of the Bible? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Bible mentions several mothers and each of them teach ... continue reading


Top 12 Bible Verses for Mom Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The dictionary definition of a mother reads, "Mother: noun. A woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth." However, a mom is so much more than the person who has given birth to the child. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Your mom is the one ... 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 Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:18-25
18 For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.13 For he ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:32-45
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 25th, 2016 Image

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
May 25: It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical ... Read More