But among archaeologists the word is usually restricted in its technical modern application to a sepulchral mound of greater or less magnitude.
In the latter case, if the tumulus of stones covers a megalithic cist or a sepulchral chamber with a passage leading into it from the outside, it is often called a dolmen.
(See Stone Monuments, Barrow and Cairn.) The custom of constructing sepulchral tumuli was widely prevalent throughout the prehistoric ages and is referred to in the early literature of various races as a fitting commemoration of the illustrious dead.
In North America, especially in the Wisconsin region, there are numerous mounds made in shapes resembling the figures of animals, birds or even human forms. These have not been often found to be sepulchral, but they are associated with sepulchral mounds of the ordinary form, some of which are as much as 300 ft.
In south-eastern Europe, and especially in southern Russia, the sepulchral tumuli are very numerous and often of great size, reaching occasionally to 400 ft.
Notices of some ancient inscriptions found at Larissa are given by Miller in Mélanges philologiques (Paris, 1880); several sepulchral reliefs were found in the neighbourhood in 1882.
Not only the native form of writing, but the household arrangements, sepulchral usages, and religious rites remain substantially the same.
The most successful Venetian sculpture is to be found in the many noble sepulchral private monuments.
Some are lofty towers containing sepulchral chambers in stories; 3 others are house-like buildings with a single chamber and a richly ornamented portico; the sides of these chambers within are adorned with the names and sculptured portraits of the dead.
Thus sepulchral inscriptions have been found on the Acropolis, though no burials took place there in ancient times.
The scanty traces which remain have not been systematically excavated except in the neighbourhood of the Dipylon; the discovery of sepulchral tablets built into the masonry illustrates the statement of Thucydides with regard to the employment of such material in the hasty construction of the walls.
The excavation of the outlying cemetery revealed the unique " Street of the Tombs " and brought to light a great number of sepulchral monuments, many of which remain in situ.
The National Museum, founded in 1866, is especially rich in archaic sculptures and in sepulchral and votive reliefs.
Six centuries elapsed before the accidental discovery of a sepulchral chamber by some labourers digging for pozzolana earth (May 31, 1578) revealed to the amazed inhabitants of Rome " the existence," to quote a contemporary record, " of other cities concealed beneath their own suburbs."
The doorways which are seen interrupting the lines of graves are those of the family sepulchral chambers, or cubicula, of which we shall speak more particularly hereafter.
In the pagan cemeteries, on the other hand, the sepulchral recess as a rule entered the rock like an oven at right angles to the corridor, the body being introduced endways.
Such recesses were known respectively as bisomi, trisomi, quadrisomi, &c., terms which often appear in the sepulchral inscriptions.
The walls of the compartments are occupied by arched sepulchral recesses, above and below which are tiers of ordinary graves or loculi.
The galleries are generally very narrow, furnished on each side with arched tombs, and communicating with family sepulchral-chambers closed originally by locked doors, the marks of the hinges and staples being still visible.
(From Agincourt.) November 1864, August the sides pierced with sepulchral recesses running lengthwise into the rock.
The most remarkable of these sepulchral chambers is a large circular hall about 25 ft.
It may have been used as a burial-place for martyrs, and Professor Marucchi is inclined to see in it the sepulchral chapel of Pope Marcellinus, who died in A.D.
In 1902, in that part of the Via Ardeatina which passes between the cemeteries of Calixtus and Domitilla, was discovered a crypt with frescoes and the sanctuary of a martyr: it is thought that this, rather than a neighbouring crypt brought to light in 1847, may prove to be the sepulchral crypt of SS.
The tumulus, which is crowned with a chapel, was excavated by Rene Galles in 1862; and the contents of the sepulchral chamber, which include several jade and fibrolite axes, are preserved in the museum at Vannes.
The most striking archaeological monuments of the prehistoric period are the sepulchral mounds, which are found by thousands in various parts of the country, especially in the neighbourhood of the ancient towns.
The new synagogue was built by Rosengarten between 1857 and 1859, and to the same architect is due the sepulchral chapel built for the Hamburg merchant prince Johann Heinrich, Freiherr von Schroder (1784-1883), in the churchyard of the Petrikirche.
Square and a few inches deep, which served for containing inscriptions or reliefs, sometimes of a sepulchral character, but sometimes relating to the cult of a divinity.
As it was illegal in Roman times to bury within the walls, we are forced to the conclusion that the places where these sepulchral remains have been found were at one time extramural.
After bidding their family farewell they were carried to the sepulchral cave, nothing but a bowl of milk being left them.
Several of them have been opened by modern excavators, but in every case it was found that treasure-seekers of an earlier time had removed any articles of value which had been deposited in the sepulchral chambers.
For he applied himself to manufacture wares having a close affinity with the shocking monstrosities used for sepulchral purposes in ancient Apulia, where fragments of dissected satyrs, busts of nymphs or halves of horses were considered graceful excrescences for the adornment of an amphora or a pithos.
Within the later walls: later fortifications (but previous to 1127), largely constructed with Roman inscribed sepulchral urns and other fragments, had been superimposed on it.
To the south-east, in the district known as the Cunelie, are a large number of tombs, known as sesi, similar in character to the nuraghi of Sardinia, though of smaller size, consisting of round or elliptical towers with sepulchral chambers in them, built of rough blocks of lava.
The local museum contains a valuable and important collection of objects from the necropolis, including some specially fine bucchero, sepulchral urns of travertine, alabaster and terra-cotta, painted vases, stone cippi with reliefs, &c.
On this latter road, beyond Decimo, two milestones, one of Tiberius, the other of Maxentius, each bearing the number 11, have been found; and farther on, at Capocotta, traces of ancient buildings, and an important sepulchral inscription of a Jewish ruler of a synagogue have come to light.
- Sepulchral Clay Urn, in the form of a jaguar-like human figure, with shell ornament and loin-cloth.
It contains a few sepulchral monuments, removed from the cloisters (pulled down in 1721), and a fine modern organ, but the historical old bell La Clemence has been replaced by a newer and larger one which bears the same name.
The name is given to a number of sepulchral monuments placed on hill-tops.
To the sepulchral chamber where the dead man was deposited amid the funereal furniture destined for his use; and no device was neglected that might enable him to rest here undisturbed.
Still more important than all such funereal objects are the books that were placed in the grave for the use of the dead: in the pyramids they are written on the walls of the sepulchral chamber and the passages leading to it; in the Middle Kingdom usually inscribed on the inner sides of the sarcophagus; in later times contained in rolls of papyrus.
That it was inhabited at a remote date is proved by the prehistoric sepulchral mounds, the Hunebedden already mentioned.
The custom of constructing barrows or mounds of stone or earth over the remains of the dead was a characteristic feature of the sepulchral systems of primitive times.
Usually the great barrows occupy conspicuous sites; but in general the external form is no index to the internal construction and gives no definite indication of the nature of the sepulchral usages.
As in the case of the long barrows, the traditional form of the circular, chambered barrow was retained through various changes in the sepulchral customs of the people.
It is highly illustrative of the tenacity with which the ancient sepulchral usages were retained even after the introduction of Christianity that King Harold, son and successor of Gorm the Old, who is said to have christianized all Denmark and Norway, followed the pagan custom of erecting a chambered tumulus over the remains of his father, on the summit of which was placed a rude pillar-stone, bearing on one side the memorial inscription in runes, and on the other a representation of the Saviour of mankind distinguished by the crossed nimbus surrounding the head.
So curiously alike in their general features were the sepulchral usages connected with barrow-burial over the whole of Europe, that we find the Anglo-Saxon Saga of Beowulf describing the chambered tumulus with its gigantic masonry "held fast on props, with vaults of stone," and the passage under the mound haunted by a dragon, the guardian of the treasures of heathen gold which it contained.
Captain Beaufort was the first to visit several places on the sea-coast, and the remarkable rock-hewn tombs of Telmessus had been already described by Dr Clarke, but it was Sir Charles Fellows who first discovered and drew attention to the extraordinary richness of tile district in ancient remains, especially of a sepulchral character.
Most of the inscriptions are sepulchral; by far the longest and most important is that on an obelisk found at Xanthus, which is a historical document, the concluding part of it being in a peculiar dialect, supposed to be an older and poetical form of the language.
The rock-cut tomb usually represented the house of the living, with an elaborate facade, but in one or two instances, notably that of the so-called Harpy-tomb, the facade is surmounted by a tall, square tower, in the upper part of which is the sepulchral chamber.
Monuments of this class are carved on the front of a sepulchral chamber, the entrance to which is a small doorway placed high and inaccessible in the rocks.