The world of the dead

Archaeological excavations have brought to light cemeteries both outside and inside the Corinthian city walls. Hundreds of graves with plentiful finds tell us about the everyday life of the Corinthians and their views on the afterlife. The cemeteries of the city lay in close proximity to central roads and did not face in a particular direction. In most cases, the dead were buried, although cremation was also customary. Later graves were dug carefully next to earlier ones, always with respect towards deceased ancestors. Corinthians preferred sarcophagi, which were rectangular coffins made of local poros limestone. However, they also used pits covered with slabs or large vessels for burying children in. Grave markers, including sculptures, ornate vases, columns and plain stone slabs, let passers-by know where graves were located. The dead were buried with their favorite objects, what we know as grave goods. These included vessels, jewellery, weapons, figurines, oil lamps or coins, which accompanied the dead on their journey to the underworld.