Funeral Urn

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Urn, Funeral


(also cinerary urn), a ceramic, stone, or, more rarely, metal vessel for the cremated remains of the dead.

Funeral urns have been used by most peoples; they were first used by many tribes during the Aeneolithic and were widespread among the ancient Greeks, Romans, Slavs, and other peoples. Usually, everyday vessels or similar such vessels were used as funeral urns. Face urns, with schematic representations of human faces on the neck or lid, appeared at the end of the third millennium B.C. Sometimes funeral urns were in the shape of a dwelling (for example, the urns of the Villanovan culture in northern Italy at the beginning of the first millennium B.C.) or of a human figure (among the Etruscans). The urns were often placed in flat graves, without mounds (for example, the Urnfield culture). In ancient Rome, urns containing the ashes of ancestors were kept in the homes of relatives or descendants or in columbaria.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
He retraced his steps thoughtfully along the causeway to the banks of the lake, and sat down on the stone steps between the two sculptured funeral urns. Then he lit a cigarette and smoked it in ruminant manner; eventually he took out a notebook and wrote down various phrases, numbering and renumbering them till they stood in the following order: "(1) Squire Hawker disliked his first wife.
(post-Elizabethan) by having his picture painted as he stood wrapped in his shroud on a funeral urn.
"For that reason, we follow a policy that began with Walt Disney himself that does not permit the use of characters on headstones, cemetery or other memorial markers or funeral urns.
The newly built building has niches for funeral urns to be stored.
He still plans to put a columbarium, a building holding funeral urns, at the West Side Cemetery, but not until a storm sewer project through the cemetery is finished.
Patrick Cemetery #3 at 143 City Park Ave.<br />The Queen of All Saints Garden will have granite columbariums of various sizes and styles, with spaces for funeral urns inside.
The urns, three dimensional or carved in relief, were a symbol that echoed a time even further back, ancient times when they represented funeral urns. But for the fledgling United States, they symbolized a maturity and dignity that artists -- whether painters, sculptures, furniture makers or architects -- found appropriate and popular.
In fact, the Beckett to which it is most deeply indebted is his bitterly comic "Play," a 20-minute wonder in which characters trapped in funeral urns ceaselessly race through their relation ships with one another.
Thousands of pieces of furniture, photocopiers, cars, works of art and even clothes lie forlornly in the chilly silence: all sorts of things have ended up crammed inside the vast depots, from funeral urns to piles of climbing shoes.
Inside the small opening in the cliff the two men found themselves surrounded by niches dug into the rock similar to those used by the Romans to hold funeral urns, while what appeared to be human bones littered the floor.
With Wal-Mart, Costco, even Amazon (through now offering items such as caskets and funeral urns, the industry has had to adapt, placing an increased emphasis on service and personalization.