cenotaph(redirected from Centotaph)
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(Greek kenotaphion, “empty grave”), a funerary monument. Cenotaphs were erected by many peoples—ancient Greeks, Romans, Middle Asians, Egyptians—mostly when the remains of the deceased were for some reason unavailable for interment. The ritual was based on the conviction that the souls of the dead who had no graves could not find peace. In ancient Egypt royal cenotaphs were erected along with the actual tombs of the pharaohs and had ritual significance.