Ines Beilke-Voigt

Human "sacrifices for buildings"

An archaeological-historical overview

Published: 2009-10-28 | DOI: 10.54799/ZTES1444


To lay the foundation-stone of a house, a bridge or some other building has always been a special action and to this day is celebrated with the laying of a foundation stone. In particular the laying of a corner-stone of a public building is accompanied by a so-called building offering which is laid into the wall or put into the foundation-stone. Today it is common to use a metal case (time capsule) which is filled with symbolic items like coins, certificates or similar documents of the time. In historic periods these items could include human skeletons which in research are often interpreted as building offerings. In various tales and legends about buildings this idea seems to continue. However, a critical examination of the sources shows that thefieldobservations should be interpreted more cautiously.

How to Cite

Beilke-Voigt, Ines. 2009. “Human ‘sacrifices for buildings’: An Archaeological-Historical Overview”. EAZ – Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift 50 (1/2):67-78.
Cover EAZ Vol. 50, No. 1+2 (2009)
Cover EAZ Vol. 50, No. 1+2 (2009)
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