Religion Past and Present

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(555 words)

[German Version]

The word grave (OE graef) refers to a special place for receiving the dead. A cavity dug for the purpose or a natural depression can receive the corpse or, in the case of a two-staged burial, remnants of cremation or exposure. Graves serve as a long-term repository for the dead. Deliberate care for the dead witnesses to a dimension beyond life as a constituent of transcendental orientations. The oldest known grave is dated to 100,000 years ago (Qafzeh, Israel) and attributed to Homo sapiens; evidence suggests that Homo neanderthalensis began to bury their dead ritual…

Cite this page
Happe, Barbara, “Grave”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 03 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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