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by Archaeology Newsroom

Ars Memoriae: The Traditional and Modern Iconostases-Shrines

The iconostases-shrines standing along provincial roads and highways and outside churches and houses represent a collective cultural expression of the veneration of the dead or are related to the customary rites for the protection of a settlement. This article focuses on the form and type of their miniature architectonical composition. The in situ survey in Attica, Crete, Epirus and in the Aegean islands identified a series of types (single-space ciborium, church-shaped shrine, stele-chapel, dedicatory, funerary post), which reveal “the directly and suB.C.onsciously materialized form of the culture, needs, values and wishes of a people”. For each type does not simply express the compositional ability of the traditional architecture to form artificial symbols, but also the transition to a distinct system of symbolic values. However, their modern counterparts have unfortunately been downgraded to ugly prefabricated structures.