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What is a necropolis?

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The origin of the word and tells us a lot, "Necros" comes from Greek and means dead; then comes "polis" meaning city; Total necropolis is a "city of the dead" or as we say in a slightly colloquial "city of the dead". Well, someone will say, is it not better to say cemetery? In some cases yes but in others it would not be at all appropriate, in addition, following the judgment of the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy that a "cemetery" is a graveyard of great proportions, greater than usual, and there is the problem today cemeteries are very large as populations require it. Nor is there a real impediment to apply the term to any cemetery. Now the Greeks coined the term to name the huge funerary monuments built not only them, but they observed in Egypt and Mesopotamia and were older than themselves. All the more reason to call the modern cemeteries cemetery for you are also full of memorials, and in my humble opinion, most are a bit less lavish than the old, but they are still great monuments.

If anything has characterized all human work is precisely the complexity of the funeral rites we have, respect there for the dead and death itself. Nobody knows why these beliefs but from the earliest times found tombs where you can find objects and tokens of appreciation for the deceased as evidenced by a Neolithic tomb where the remains of an old woman lying sideways found in fetal position with many objects around and even a dog on which rests his hand, like a gesture of stroking.

To the extent that human beings began to settle the problem that the dead could not be buried within human settlements themselves arises and this is how comes the practice of tombs outside thereof. Presumably, as cities grow these scattered tombs began to impede the growth of settlements then chances are it was decided to place all in one place so as to prevent the villages themselves profaned the tombs to grow, so must be the way that cemeteries are born. This will not give rise to the proper cemeteries, but the dead are buried near roads giving access to the cities, first because this is no access to the graves of ancestors, remember there is great veneration by deceased, and because there would have to travel a lot with rotting corpses. And the putrefaction is what generates the boom of the ancient necropolis. For whatever reason are encouraged to preserve the bodies of those who die and then it becomes necessary to have a place where "are resting for eternity". So true born necropolis, funerary monuments of one or many important characters. In the "Valley of Kings" in Egypt, establishing the most famous of all to prevent grave robbers steal the treasures that you honor the dead, although precisely what isolated site allowed a more "thorough" looting and to date are very few graves that remain intact, as would a friend of mine who has since died, "or the grave has one peace." For the Greeks had to look like real cities in the middle of nowhere where silence contrasted with the bustle of the city inhabited by the living.

In America there are also some cities of the dead standing which belongs to the "Culture of St. Augustine" in Colombia. I say to finish that during the Middle Ages cemeteries were not considered as important as in ancient times and had many practical reasons for this: pests and terrible wars engulfing the entire planet did not give truce was but a priority: bury and urgently; nobles did not need lavish mausoleums that were buried in the crypts incorporating chapels and churches, but in many cases these crypts were beautifully decorated, very typical of the Gothic style of the time.

In the nineteenth century, from the Victorian era, re-built huge funeral complex, especially extolling the "superiority" of European culture and its power over the world; mentality that end with World War II, or at least we hope. The funerary monuments become a little more modest given the practical-minded society of the mid and late twentieth century, which is discarded course today the idea of ​​an authentic "Necropolis", but the size of the cemeteries becomes enormous, given the number of people living in today's world. Nothing lasts forever, not even the monuments like the pyramids of Egypt, which brings us one step to immortality are not the things we do, it is genetic heredity passed from one generation to another in our children.
Translated for educational purposes.
Meanings, definitions, concepts of daily use

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