Persian mythology are traditional tales and stories of ancient origin, all involving extraordinary or supernatural beings. Myths play a part in Iranian culture and our understanding of them is increased when we consider them within the context of Iranian history. The geography of this region, with its mountain ranges. This pottery, light grey to black in colour, appeared around 1400 BC and it is called Early Grey Ware or Iron I, the latter name indicating the beginning of the Iron Age in this area. The central collection of Persian mythology is the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, the characters of Persian mythology almost always fall into one of two camps. They are either good, or they are evil, the most famous legendary character in the Persian epics and mythology is Rostam. On the other side of the fence is Zahhak, a symbol of despotism who was, Zahhak was guarded by two vipers which grew out from both of his shoulders. No matter how many times they were beheaded, new heads grew on them to guard him.
The snake, like in other mythologies, was a symbol of evil, but many other animals and birds appear in Iranian mythology, especially. Most famous of these is Simorgh, a beautiful and powerful bird, and Homa. Published by Echo of Iran, Tehran 1965, Iranian Mythology by Albert J. Carnoy Indo-Iranian Mythology Iran Almanac 2006
Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its Supreme Being. Zoroastrianism was suppressed from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia of 633-654, recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 2.6 million, with most living in India and in Iran. Besides the Zoroastrian diaspora, the older Mithraic faith Yazdânism is still practised amongst Kurds, the religious philosophy of Zoroaster divided the early Iranian gods of Proto-Indo-Iranian tradition. The most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, in Zoroastrianism, the creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu is an all-good father of Asha, in opposition to Druj and no evil originates from him. He and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas, Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto truth oppose the Spirits opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to be among those who renew the world. to make the progress towards perfection.
Its basic maxims include, Hukhta, which mean, Good Thoughts, Good Words, there is only one path and that is the path of Truth. Do the right thing because it is the thing to do. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is, The Lord Creator and he proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe. He stated that human beings are given a right of choice, Zoroasters teachings focused on responsibility, and did not introduce a devil per se. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called Angra Mainyu, or angry spirit, post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, which was effectively a personification of Angra Mainyu. The name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra and he is known as Zartosht and Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati. The Zoroastrian name of the religion is Mazdayasna, which combines Mazda- with the Avestan language word yasna, meaning worship, in English, an adherent of the faith is commonly called a Zoroastrian or a Zarathustrian.
An older expression still used today is Behdin, meaning The best Religion | Beh < Middle Persian Weh + Din < Middle Persian dēn < Avestan Daēnā. In Zoroastrian liturgy the term is used as a title for an individual who has formally inducted into the religion in a Navjote ceremony. The term Mazdaism /ˈmæzdə. ɪzəm/ is a typical 19th century construct, taking Mazda- from the name Ahura Mazda, the March 2001 draft edition of the Oxford English Dictionary records an alternate form, perhaps derived from the French Mazdéisme, which first appeared in 1871. In older English sources, the terms Gheber and Gueber were used to refer to Zoroastrians, Zoroastrian philosophy is identified as having been known to Italian Renaissance Europe through an image of Zoroaster in Raphaels School of Athens by Giorgio Vasari in 1550. The Oxford English Dictionary records use of the term Zoroastrianism in 1874 in Archibald Sayces Principles of Comparative Philology, Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, supreme god, Ahura Mazda, or the Wise Lord
Earth, otherwise known as the World, or the Globe, is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life. It is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets, according to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed about 4.54 billion years ago. Earths gravity interacts with objects in space, especially the Sun. During one orbit around the Sun, Earth rotates about its axis over 365 times, Earths axis of rotation is tilted, producing seasonal variations on the planets surface. The gravitational interaction between the Earth and Moon causes ocean tides, stabilizes the Earths orientation on its axis, Earths lithosphere is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of Earths surface is covered with water, mostly by its oceans, the remaining 29% is land consisting of continents and islands that together have many lakes and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere.
The majority of Earths polar regions are covered in ice, including the Antarctic ice sheet, Earths interior remains active with a solid iron inner core, a liquid outer core that generates the Earths magnetic field, and a convecting mantle that drives plate tectonics. Within the first billion years of Earths history, life appeared in the oceans and began to affect the Earths atmosphere and surface, some geological evidence indicates that life may have arisen as much as 4.1 billion years ago. Since then, the combination of Earths distance from the Sun, physical properties, in the history of the Earth, biodiversity has gone through long periods of expansion, occasionally punctuated by mass extinction events. Over 99% of all species that lived on Earth are extinct. Estimates of the number of species on Earth today vary widely, over 7.4 billion humans live on Earth and depend on its biosphere and minerals for their survival. Humans have developed diverse societies and cultures, the world has about 200 sovereign states, the modern English word Earth developed from a wide variety of Middle English forms, which derived from an Old English noun most often spelled eorðe.
It has cognates in every Germanic language, and their proto-Germanic root has been reconstructed as *erþō, earth was written in lowercase, and from early Middle English, its definite sense as the globe was expressed as the earth. By early Modern English, many nouns were capitalized, and the became the Earth. More recently, the name is simply given as Earth. House styles now vary, Oxford spelling recognizes the lowercase form as the most common, another convention capitalizes Earth when appearing as a name but writes it in lowercase when preceded by the. It almost always appears in lowercase in colloquial expressions such as what on earth are you doing, the oldest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4. 5672±0.0006 billion years ago. By 4. 54±0.04 Gya the primordial Earth had formed, the formation and evolution of Solar System bodies occurred along with the Sun
The word shaman probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia. The term was introduced to the west after Russian forces conquered the shamanistic Khanate of Kazan in 1552, Mircea Eliade writes, A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be, shamanism = technique of religious ecstasy. Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul, alleviating traumas affecting the soul/spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. The shaman enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community, Shamans may visit other worlds/dimensions to bring guidance to misguided souls and to ameliorate illnesses of the human soul caused by foreign elements. The shaman operates primarily within the world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the ailment, hundreds of books and academic papers on the subject have been produced, with a peer-reviewed academic journal being devoted to the study of shamanism.
The word shaman probably originates from the Evenki word šamán, most likely from the dialect spoken by the Sym Evenki peoples. The Tungusic term was adopted by Russians interacting with the indigenous peoples in Siberia. It is found in the memoirs of the exiled Russian churchman Avvakum, adam Brand, a merchant from Lübeck, published in 1698 his account of a Russian embassy to China, a translation of his book, published the same year, introduced the word shaman to English speakers. The etymology of the Evenki word is sometimes connected to a Tungus root ša- to know, other scholars assert that the word comes directly from the Manchu language, and as such would be the only commonly used English word that is a loan from this language. This proposal has been thoroughly critiqued since 1917, ethnolinguist Juha Janhunen regards it as an anachronism and an impossibility that is nothing more than a far-fetched etymology. Ethnolinguists did not develop as a discipline nor achieve contact with these communities until the late 19th century, there is no single agreed-upon definition for the word shamanism among anthropologists.
The English historian Ronald Hutton noted that by the dawn of the 21st century, the first of these uses the term to refer to anybody who contacts a spirit world while in an altered state of consciousness. The second definition limits the term to refer to those who contact a spirit world while in a state of consciousness at the behest of others. Problematically, scholars advocating the third view have failed to agree on what the defining technique should be, the fourth definition identified by Hutton uses shamanism to refer to the indigenous religions of Siberia and neighboring parts of Asia. According to the Golomt Center for Shamanic Studies, a Mongolian organisation of shamans, Shamans are normally called by dreams or signs which require lengthy training. However, shamanic powers may be inherited and colleagues mention a phenomenon called shamanistic initiatory crisis, a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, commonly involving physical illness and/or psychological crisis
Ancient Greek religion
Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or cults in the plural, many ancient Greeks recognized the twelve major gods and goddesses, although philosophies such as Stoicism and some forms of Platonism used language that seems to assume a single transcendent deity. Different cities often worshiped the deities, sometimes with epithets that distinguished them. Greek religion was tempered by Etruscan cult and belief to form much of the ancient Roman religion, while there were few concepts universal to all the Greek peoples, there were common beliefs shared by many. Ancient Greek theology was polytheistic, based on the assumption there were many gods. There was a hierarchy of deities, with Zeus, the king of the gods, having a level of control all the others. Some deities had dominion over aspects of nature.
Other deities ruled over abstract concepts, for instance Aphrodite controlled love, while being immortal, the gods were certainly not all-good or even all-powerful. They had to obey fate, known to Greek mythology as the Moirai, which overrode any of their divine powers or wills. For instance, in mythology, it was Odysseus fate to return home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, and the gods could only lengthen his journey and make it harder for him, the gods acted like humans, and had human vices. They would interact with humans, sometimes even spawning children with them, at times certain gods would be opposed to others, and they would try to outdo each other. In the Iliad, Aphrodite and Apollo support the Trojan side in the Trojan War, while Hera, some gods were specifically associated with a certain city. Athena was associated with the city of Athens, Apollo with Delphi and Delos, Zeus with Olympia, other deities were associated with nations outside of Greece, Poseidon was associated with Ethiopia and Troy, and Ares with Thrace.
The Greeks believed in an underworld where the spirits of the dead went after death, one of the most widespread areas of this underworld was ruled over by Hades, a brother of Zeus, and was known as Hades. Other well known realms are Tartarus, a place of torment for the damned, and Elysium, in the early Mycenean religion all the dead went to Hades, but the rise of mystery cults in the Archaic age led to the development of places such as Tartarus and Elysium. Such beliefs are found in the most ancient of Greek sources, such as Homer and this belief remained strong even into the Christian era. For most people at the moment of death there was, however, no hope of anything, some Greeks, such as the philosophers Pythagoras and Plato, embraced the idea of reincarnation, though this was only accepted by a few. Epicurus taught that the soul was simply atoms which dissolved at death, Greek religion had an extensive mythology
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the deer and the chital, and the Capreolinae, including the elk, the Western roe deer. Female reindeer, and male deer of all species, grow, in this they differ from permanently horned antelope, which are in the same order, Artiodactyla. The musk deer of Asia and water chevrotain of tropical African and Asian forests are not usually regarded as true deer and form their own families and Tragulidae, respectively. Deer appear in art from Palaeolithic cave paintings onwards, and they have played a role in mythology and their economic importance includes the use of their meat as venison, their skins as soft, strong buckskin, and their antlers as handles for knives. Deer hunting has been a sport since at least the Middle Ages. Deer live in a variety of biomes, ranging from tundra to the tropical rainforest, while often associated with forests, many deer are ecotone species that live in transitional areas between forests and thickets and prairie and savanna.
The majority of deer species inhabit temperate mixed deciduous forest, mountain mixed coniferous forest, tropical seasonal/dry forest. Clearing open areas within forests to some extent may actually benefit deer populations by exposing the understory and allowing the types of grasses, additionally, access to adjacent croplands may benefit deer. However, adequate forest or brush cover must still be provided for populations to grow, fallow deer have been introduced to South Africa. There are species of deer that are highly specialized, and live almost exclusively in mountains, swamps. Some deer have a distribution in both North America and Eurasia. Examples include the caribou that live in Arctic tundra and taiga and moose that inhabit taiga, huemul deer of South Americas Andes fill the ecological niches of the ibex and wild goat, with the fawns behaving more like goat kids. Mountain slope habitats vary from moist coniferous/mixed forested habitats to dry forests with alpine meadows higher up. The foothills and river valleys between the mountain provide a mosaic of cropland and deciduous parklands.
The rare woodland caribou have the most restricted range living at altitudes in the subalpine meadows. Elk and mule deer both migrate between the alpine meadows and lower coniferous forests and tend to be most common in this region, elk inhabit river valley bottomlands, which they share with White-tailed deer. They live in the aspen parklands north of Calgary and Edmonton, the adjacent Great Plains grassland habitats are left to herds of elk, American bison, and pronghorn antelope
An angel, especially according to Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism, is a spiritual being superior to humans in power and intelligence. Most of them either as intermediaries between Heaven and Earth, or as guardian spirits. They are studied in the doctrine of angelology. In Christian Science, the angel is used to refer to an inspiration from God. In fine art, angels are depicted as having the shape of human beings of extraordinary beauty, they are often identified using the symbols of bird wings, halos. The word angel in English is a blend of Old English engel, both derive from Late Latin angelus messenger, which in turn was borrowed from Late Greek ἄγγελος ángelos. According to R. S. P. Beekes, ángelos itself may be an Oriental loan, the words earliest form is Mycenaean a-ke-ro attested in Linear B syllabic script. The ángelos is the default Septuagints translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mal’ākh denoting simply messenger without specifying its nature. In the Latin Vulgate, the meaning becomes bifurcated, if the word refers to some supernatural being, the word angelus appears.
Such differentiation has been taken over by vernacular translations of the Bible, early Christian and Jewish exegetes, in Zoroastrianism there are different angel-like figures. For example, each person has one guardian angel, called Fravashi and they patronize human beings and other creatures, and manifest Gods energy. In the commentaries of Proclus on the Timaeus of Plato, Proclus uses the terminology of angelic, according to Aristotle, just as there is a First Mover, so, must there be spiritual secondary movers. The Torah uses the terms מלאך אלהים, מלאך יהוה, בני אלהים and הקודשים to refer to beings traditionally interpreted as angels, texts use other terms, such as העליונים. The term מלאך is used in books of the Tanakh. Depending on the context, the Hebrew word may refer to a messenger or to a supernatural messenger. Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name, mentioning Gabriel in Daniel 9,21 and these angels are part of Daniels apocalyptic visions and are an important part of all apocalyptic literature.
One of these is hāšāṭān, a figure depicted in the Book of Job, philo of Alexandria identifies the angel with the Logos inasmuch as the angel is the immaterial voice of God. The angel is something different from God himself, but is conceived as Gods instrument, in post-Biblical Judaism, certain angels took on particular significance and developed unique personalities and roles
Yama or Yamarāja, called Imra, is a god of death, the south direction and the underworld, belonging to an early stratum of Rigvedic Hindu deities. In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean twin, in the Zend-Avesta of Zoroastrianism, he is called Yima. According to the Vishnu Purana, his parents are the sun-god Surya and Sandhya, Yama is the brother of Sraddhadeva Manu and of his older sister Yami, which Horace Hayman Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna. According to Harivamsa Purana her name is Daya, there is a temple in Srivanchiyam, Tamil Nadu dedicated to Yama. In the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died, by virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, and is called Lord of the Pitrs. Mentioned in the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist mythology in Tibetan and he is otherwise called as Dharmaraja. In Hinduism, Yama is the lokapala of the south and the son of Brahma, three hymns in the 10th book of the Rig Veda are addressed to him.
He has two dogs with four legs and wide nostrils guarding the road to his abode and they are said to wander about among people as his messengers. He wields a leash with which he seizes the lives of people who are about to die and he is depicted as riding a buffalo. According to Hindu mythology, Yama is the son of Surya and he is the twin brother of Yami, brother of Shraddhadeva_Manu and the step brother of Shani. In Buddhism, Yama is a said to judge the dead and preside over the Narakas. The Buddhist Yama has however, developed different myths and different functions from the Hindu deity, Naraka in Hinduism serves only as a temporary purgatory where the soul is purified of sin by its suffering. In Hindu mythology, Naraka holds many hells, and Yama directs departed souls to the appropriate one, even elevated Mukti-yogyas and Nitya-samsarins can experience Naraka for expiation of sins. Although Yama is the lord of Naraka, he may direct the soul to a Swarga or return it to Bhoomi. As good and bad deeds are not considered to cancel each other out, the seven Swargas are, Swas, Thaarus, Savithaa and Maha.
The idea of Naraka in Sikhism is like the idea of Hell, ones soul, however, is confined to 8.4 million life cycles before taking birth as a human, the point of human life being one where one attains salvation, the salvation being sach khand. The idea of khand comes in multiple levels of such heavens, the idea of Hell comes in multiple levels, and hell itself can manifest within human life itself. The Sikh idea of hell is where one is apart from naama, naama is believed to be a direct deliverance by God to humanity in the form of Guru Nanak
The domestic dog is a member of genus Canis that forms part of the wolf-like canids, and is the most widely abundant carnivore. The dog and the extant gray wolf are sister taxa, with modern wolves not closely related to the wolves that were first domesticated, the dog was the first domesticated species and has been selectively bred over millennia for various behaviors, sensory capabilities, and physical attributes. Their long association with humans has led dogs to be attuned to human behavior. Dogs vary widely in shape and colours, dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, pulling loads, assisting police and military, companionship and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This influence on society has given them the sobriquet mans best friend. The term domestic dog is used for both domesticated and feral varieties. The English word dog comes from Middle English dogge, from Old English docga, the term may possibly derive from Proto-Germanic *dukkōn, represented in Old English finger-docce.
The word shows the familiar petname diminutive -ga seen in frogga frog, picga pig, stagga stag, wicga beetle, the term dog may ultimately derive from the earliest layer of Proto-Indo-European vocabulary. In 14th-century England, hound was the word for all domestic canines, and dog referred to a subtype of hound. It is believed this dog type was so common, it became the prototype of the category hound. By the 16th century, dog had become the general word, the word hound is ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European word *kwon-, dog. This semantic shift may be compared with in German, where the corresponding words Dogge, a male canine is referred to as a dog, while a female is called a bitch. The father of a litter is called the sire, and the mother is called the dam, the process of birth is whelping, from the Old English word hwelp, the modern English word whelp is an alternate term for puppy. A litter refers to the offspring at one birth which are called puppies or pups from the French poupée, doll.
The term dog typically is applied both to the species as a whole, and any male member of the same. An adult female is a bitch, in some countries, especially in North America, dog is used instead due to the vulgar connotation of bitch. An adult male capable of reproduction is a stud, an adult female capable of reproduction is a brood bitch, or brood mother. Immature males or females are pups or puppies, a group of pups from the same gestation period is a litter
Sparrows are a family of small passerine birds, Passeridae. They are known as sparrows, or Old World sparrows, names used for a particular genus of the family. They are distinct from both the American sparrows, in the family Emberizidae, and from a few other birds sharing their name, such as the Java sparrow of the family Estrildidae. Many species nest on buildings, and the house and Eurasian tree sparrows in particular cities in large numbers. They are primarily seed-eaters, though they consume small insects, some species scavenge for food around cities and, like gulls or rock doves, will happily eat virtually anything in small quantities. Generally, sparrows are small, brown-grey birds with tails and stubby. The differences between species can be subtle. Members of this range in size from the chestnut sparrow, at 11.4 centimetres and 13.4 grams, to the parrot-billed sparrow. Sparrows are physically similar to other seed-eating birds, such as finches, but have a vestigial dorsal outer primary feather and this bone, the preglossale, helps stiffen the tongue when holding seeds.
Other adaptations towards eating seeds are specialised bills and elongated and specialised alimentary canals, the family Passeridae was introduced by the French polymath Constantine Samuel Rafinesque in 1815. Under the classification used in the Handbook of the Birds of the World main groupings of the sparrows are the true sparrows, the snowfinches, and these groups are similar to each other, and are each fairly homogeneous, especially Passer. Some classifications include the sparrow-weavers and several other African genera which are similar to Passer. They therefore classify it as its own subfamily within Passeridae, starting with P. P. Suskin in the 1920s, placed the sparrows in the weaver family as the subfamily Passerinae, and tied them to Plocepasser. Another family sparrows were classed with was the finches, some authorities previously classified the related estrildid finches of the Old World tropics and Australasia as members of the Passeridae. Like sparrows, the finches are small and often colonial seed-eaters with short, thick.
They are broadly similar in structure and habits, but tend to be very colourful, the 2008 Christidis and Boles taxonomic scheme lists the estrildid finches as the separate family Estrildidae, leaving just the true sparrows in Passeridae. The hedge sparrow or dunnock is similarly unrelated and it is a sparrow in name only, a relict of the old practice of calling more types of small birds sparrows. A few further bird species are called sparrows, such as the Java sparrow
A lekythos is a type of Ancient Greek vessel used for storing oil, especially olive oil. It has a body and one handle attached to the neck of the vessel, and is thus a narrow type of jug, with no pouring lip. However, there are a number of varieties, and the word seems to have used even more widely in ancient times than by modern archeologists. They are normally in pottery, but there are carved stone examples. Lekythoi were especially associated with rites, and with the white ground technique of vase painting. Because of their handle they were only decorated with one image, on the other side from the handle, they are often photographed with the handle hidden. The lekythos was used for anointing dead bodies of unmarried women, the images on lekythoi were often depictions of daily activities or rituals. Because they are so used in funerary situations, they may depict funerary rites. These drawings are usually outline drawings that are quite expressionless and somber in appearance, the decoration of these ceramic vessels consists of a dull red and black paint.
These colors may have derived from the Bronze Age, but were not used until 530 BC in Athens. Many artists of these attempted to add more color to the figures, but abandoned the idea. These vessels were very popular during the 5th century BC, however there are many that have been dating all the way back to 700 BC. They contained an oil which was offered either to the dead person or to the gods of the underworld. Some lekythoi were fitted with a small, inner chamber so that they appear full. The Lekythos was used to smear perfumed oil on a womans skin before getting married and were placed in tombs to allow the woman to prepare for a wedding in the afterlife. There are plastic lekythoi, with bodies formed in the shape of a head, animal, or other form
Funerary art is any work of art forming, or placed in, a repository for the remains of the dead. The term encompasses cenotaphs, tomb-like monuments which do not contain human remains, and communal memorials to the dead, funerary art may serve many cultural functions. The deposit of objects with an apparent aesthetic intention is found in almost all cultures—Hindu culture, an important factor in the development of traditions of funerary art is the division between what was intended to be visible to visitors or the public after completion of the funeral ceremonies. A similar division can be seen in grand East Asian tombs, in other cultures, nearly all the art connected with the burial, except for limited grave goods, was intended for viewing by the public or at least those admitted by the custodians. In these cultures, traditions such as the sarcophagus and tomb monument of the Greek and Roman empires. The mausoleum intended for visiting was the grandest type of tomb in the classical world, Tomb is a general term for any repository for human remains, while grave goods are other objects which have been placed within the tomb.
Such objects may include the personal possessions of the deceased, objects created for the burial. Knowledge of many cultures is drawn largely from these sources. A tumulus, kurgan, or long barrow covered important burials in many cultures, a mausoleum is a building erected mainly as a tomb, taking its name from the Mausoleum of Mausolus at Halicarnassus. Stele is a term for erect stones that are often what are now called gravestones, ship burials are mostly found in coastal Europe, while chariot burials are found widely across Eurasia. Catacombs, of which the most famous examples are those in Rome, a large group of burials with traces remaining above ground can be called a necropolis, if there are no such visible structures, it is a grave field. A cenotaph is a memorial without a burial, particularly influential in this regard was John Weevers Ancient Funerall Monuments, the first full-length book to be dedicated to the subject of tomb memorials and epitaphs. Others, have found this distinction rather pedantic, related genres of commemorative art for the dead take many forms, such as the moai figures of Easter Island, apparently a type of sculpted ancestor portrait, though hardly individualized.
These are common in cultures as diverse as Ancient Rome and China, many cultures have psychopomp figures, such as the Greek Hermes and Etruscan Charun, who help conduct the spirits of the dead into the afterlife. Most of humanitys oldest known archaeological constructions are tombs, mostly megalithic, the earliest instances date to within a few centuries of each other, yet show a wide diversity of form and purpose. Tombs in the Iberian peninsula have been dated through thermoluminescence to c.4510 BCE, and some burials at the Carnac stones in Brittany date back to the fifth millennium BCE. The commemorative value of burial sites are indicated by the fact that, at some stage, they became elevated. This effect was achieved by encapsulating a single corpse in a basic pit, surrounded by an elaborate ditch