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Tablet with instructions for deceased

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Tablet with instructions for deceased
Tablet with instructions for deceased

Over the years, archaeologists have found extremely interesting finds throughout the Mediterranean, including Sicily, southern Italy, northern Greece and Crete. We are talking about tablets with instructions for the dead, which were to help souls on their journey to the afterlife.

These types of objects were placed on the chest, hand or mouth of the deceased in the grave. The short text is a some kind of ticket with information about the status of the deceased and a hint of where the soul should go in the underworld.

The photo shows an object that dates back to the 4th century BCE. The golden plate is inscribed with a dialogue in Greek. The deceased suggests that he is thirsty and is looking for a good source from which to drink.

– I am parched with thirst and perishing!
– Then come drink of me, the Ever-Flowing Spring, on the right—a bright cypress is there. Who are you? Where are you from?
– I am the son of Earth and Starry Heaven. But my race is heavenly..

The mentioned spring is meant to be a place where the deceased can drink water that preserves memories.

After the thirst is satisfied, the soul must respond appropriately to the guardians of the underworld so that it can be introduced into the underworld.

Interestingly, the discovered tablets are mutually exclusive many times, and the deceased has to either go left or right; cypress, on the other hand, is once taken as a cue not to drink from the spring, and sometimes it is a good place. As you can see, the ancient Greeks themselves did not know what to expect after death.


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