Thursday, August 03, 2017

Question from Stacey - Above ground tombs

In the above ground tombs, are the coffins above ground inside the tomb or is the actual coffin under the ground?

2 comments:

PhD Historian said...

That depends on the specific interment. Some monuments and sarcophagi above floor level do contain the coffin and remains of the individual, while others simply mark the space over a below-ground burial or even a below-the-floor vault-like crypt. In some cases, especially in Westminster Abbey, some of the elaborate above-ground monuments are simply memorials for persons buried elsewhere.

Ivan Damico said...

Agree with PhD guy, most of the sarcophagi in Europe are for the people to pay tribute, but the actual bodies, which of course were dug up and violated, jewels and clothes stolen, even the bones from many ancient kings have never been found due to rivals and political differences, and so the actual bodies were usually interred in private crypts on heavily guarded palace grounds, there are some in Westminster that are really buried there but most are for show, usually designed by the top sculptors of the time as these were high paying contracts, "The Agony and The Ecstasy" by Irving Stone has a lot of the history of Michelangelo's contracts for such things, there is also a lot of recorded history on Brunischelli (spelling? The guy who built the Duomo) and his creating sarcophagi , memorials and sculptures, for which he invented many new techniques. Brilliant guy.