The Sarcophagus Tomb

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn New York

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn New York

Sarcophagus tombs are designed to look like coffins.  Most often they are set on a platform or a base.  The tomb is often embellished with ornamentation and nearly always has feet–but the “coffin” is empty–just an empty symbol of the receptacle.  This style of burial monument is ancient.

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

The word, sarcophagus, is derived from two ancient Greek words, sarx, which meant flesh and phagein meaning to eat.  The two words together, sarkophagus, meant flesh eating.  The term came from the limestone used by the ancient Greeks to bury the dead which was thought to decompose the flesh of the deceased.

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York

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One Response to The Sarcophagus Tomb

  1. MARY KIM SCHRECK says:

    Those are really good examples of the sarcophagus type of tombs…I had no idea what that term meant… fascinating… one of the many paths I would have enjoyed taking in my life would have been studying etymology in college…no idea what jobs would have been available, but surely their would have been something interesting! I really love words and their unusual histories!

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