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EXCARNATION

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 10:52
by bolgios
The Celtic practice of 'Exposing the Bodies':


http://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2013/0 ... carnation/

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 13:21
by Mountainheart
Interesting, thanks.

I wonder if the Tower of Silence is where the Wicker Man myth developed from.

Thx
David

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 15:58
by Cerys
Very interesting indeed! I've always thought the idea of giving the body back to the elements and gods/spirits through excarnation fascinating. Buddhist monks in Tibet still practice this I believe.

The archaeologists seem to indicate that this practice does not predate the 1st-2nd century CE here which leads to some really interesting questions like:

1) Did the neighboring Belgae tribe have anything to do with this (I believe the Belgae were the tribe responsible for the Tower of Silence)? If so, was this kind of burial something you only did to your vanquished enemies? The fact that skulls seem to be present might suggest otherwise.

2) Did the Romans have anything to do with this since they invaded this area, I think, in about 50 CE?

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 06 Sep 2013, 16:49
by bolgios
Although the latest English site is dated 1st/2nd c. AD, this practice is recorded across Europe from the 4th c. BC onwards. It is most common in areas where the presence of the Belgae tribes is recorded:

http://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2011/1 ... s-of-prey/

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 07 Sep 2013, 15:25
by Cerys
Great! Thanks for the reference.

So, generally speaking, it seems that excarnation with head is performed by the tribe for its members and excarnation without the head (Tower of Silence) is something done to one's enemies? I wonder if excarnation, "honorable" or otherwise, was reserved for certain members of the community. Will have to read up on it.

I like the idea of going back to the elements in such an immediate fashion. I doubt most people would be thrilled with excarnation these days -- but biodegradable coffins are apparently on the rise:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/magaz ... offin.html?/

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 08 Sep 2013, 15:11
by ShadowCat
Thank you for sharing. I visited the area a few months back, and in a meditation atop the Westkenneth Longbarrow the image of "air-burials" came to me. The idea of the sorted bones in the gravechambers somehow "clicked", but I dismissed it as an non-significant image pulled up into my memory by association since as far as I knew there were no air-burials in that region. This gives some more dept to this experience. I'll study it further.

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 08 Sep 2013, 21:56
by DJ Droood
googling Tower of Silence really brings you down some creepy wormholes!

Re: EXCARNATION

Posted: 14 Sep 2013, 15:27
by ShadowCat
ofcourse the first thing one does after such a comment is google "tower of silence" and search for creepiness :grin: