from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The collection of the bones of a deceased person, after decomposition of the soft tissue, for placement in an ossuary


From Latin os ("bone") + legō ("I pick, select, gather"). (Wiktionary)


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  • Nina Burliegh: 'Ossuaries are quite common in Jerusalem. For about ninety years, Jews practiced ossilegium. This method of disposing of the dead involved first closing up body in a cave for a year. After the flesh had fallen away, the bones were removed from the cave and closed up in a small box — an ossuary — which was sometimes inscribed with a design or a name.'

    November 24, 2008