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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the funerary rites in the Phoenician-Punic world from a comprehensive point of view, and it focuses on the common points arising from a large amount of data. The concern for burying their deceased and the belief in the soul’s afterlife show that the Phoenicians considered death as a transformation rather than as the end of a person’s life. Through our access to archaeological remains and written sources, we can reconstruct the existence of a meaningful burial program that was destined to provide a “good death” and afterlife. Funerary rituals, thus, are the actions or gestures to achieve this goal. The aim of this chapter is to explain the rites that family members undertook once someone died, in order to transform correctly the deceased person into an otherworldly being, the ancestor. The social implications of the data arising from burials are also briefly considered.

Keywords: ritual, funeral, necropolis, inhumation, incineration, feasting, ancestor, amulet

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