Portal:Death

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Introduction

Statue of Death, personified as a human skeleton dressed in a shroud and clutching a scythe, from the Cathedral of Trier in Trier, Germany

Death is the cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury. In most cases, bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.

Death – particularly the death of humans – has commonly been considered a sad or unpleasant occasion, due to the affection for the being that has died and the termination of social and familial bonds with the deceased. Other concerns include fear of death, necrophobia, anxiety, sorrow, grief, emotional pain, depression, sympathy, compassion, solitude, or saudade. Many cultures and religions have the idea of an afterlife, and also hold the idea of reward or judgement and punishment for past sin.

Selected article

The Etruscan "Sarcophagus of the Spouses", at the National Etruscan Museum in Italy
Funerary art is any work of art forming or placed in a repository for the remains of the dead. Tomb is a general term for the repository, while grave goods are objects—other than the primary human remains—which have been placed inside. Such objects may include the personal possessions of the deceased, or objects specially created for the burial, or miniature versions of things needed in an afterlife. Our knowledge of several cultures is drawn largely from these sources.

Funerary art can serve many cultural functions, although generally they are an aesthetic attempt to capture or express the beliefs or emotions about the afterlife. It can play a role in burial rites, serve as an article for use by the dead in the afterlife, and celebrate the life and accomplishments of the dead, as part of practices of ancestor veneration. Funerary art can also function as a reminder of the mortality of humankind, as an expression of cultural values and roles, and help to propitiate the spirits of the dead, preventing their unwelcome intrusion into the affairs of the living. Many cultures have psychopomp figures, such as the Greek Hermes and Etruscan Charun, who help to conduct the spirit of the dead into the afterlife.

Selected image

Tutankhamun's funeral mask
Credit: Uspn

Tutankhamun's famous burial mask, on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

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Rudolf Schiestl (1878-1931) - Tod von Basel.jpg

Anniversaries of death

Obituaries

Disasters and accidents

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Quote

"Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?"

Plato "Phaedo" 72

Major topics

Death project

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The Death WikiProject is a collaboration that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in Death.
The aim of this project is to standardize and improve articles related to Death, and to create any missing articles
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