Mortuary house

Mortuary house

In archaeology and anthropology a mortuary house is any purpose-built structure, often resembling a normal dwelling in many ways, in which a dead body is buried.

Following the laying to rest of the deceased, who is often surrounded with grave goods, an earthwork called a kurgan in Russian or barrow in English is raised over the house and the structure left sealed.

The term has parallels with Christian sepulchres which contain only one burial. Mortuary houses differ from mortuary enclosures in size, design and in the latter's capacity for multiple burials.

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