Burials with dyed bones & deadfall stones

Eleanor Konik

Eleanor Konik

Professionally, I teach pre-teens about ancient civilizations. In my downtime, I enjoy combining storytelling with my love of sharing obscure history and science.


I was looking into the history of religious military orders to use as a basis for the paladin-analogues in my novel and discovered the Order of the Holy Sepulchre refers to a tomb. So I went down the rabbit hole and discovered...

Fun Facts

  • A sepulchre specifically refers to rock-cut room, typically cut into a cave, such as Christ's tomb.
  • A hypogaeum is an underground tomb, such as the Thebian necropolis. The term is interchangeable with catacomb.
  • The Maya used cinnabar to dye the bones of their dead red before interring them.
  • A kurgan (typically associated with Scythian culture) is a type of burial mound where a single person is buried along with grave vessels, weapons and horses.
  • Many fairies of Celtic lore are traditionally thought to inhabit the ancient barrows and cairns of Ireland.

Bacteria Destroy Monuments

Although the degradation of monuments and buildings is usually blamed on weather, but some microbes cause deterioration because of how they interact with salt in the air.

Vaulted Tombs Collapse

The early Minoans, on Crete, continued to use their circular vaulted tombs — called tholos tombs — even after roof collapse. They apparently buried their dead on top of the fallen stones.

Lines of Mounds

The Scythians — horse nomads who gave rise to myths of the Amazons — built burial mounds in straight lines on the Eurasian steppes. They also practiced mummification.

Location, Location, Location

Many tombs, including the pyramid tombs of the Maya, are located in, under, or beside religious buildings like temples & churches.


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