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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ancient Roman urn made from alabaster
Ancient Greek cremation urn ca. 850 B.C.

An urn is a vase, often with a cover, with a typically narrowed neck above a rounded body and a footed pedestal. Describing a vessel as an "urn", as opposed to a vase or other terms, generally reflects its use rather than any particular shape or origin. The term is especially often used for funerary urns, vessels used in burials, either to hold the cremated ashes or as grave goods. The history of cremation urns dates back to ancient civilizations. Cremation as a funerary practice has been prevalent in various cultures throughout history. The use of urns for holding cremated remains can be traced to ancient Greece, where elaborate pottery urns were crafted to house the ashes of the deceased. In ancient Rome, urns made of materials such as marble or bronze became popular, showcasing intricate designs and symbols associated with the deceased. Over time, different cultures and time periods have influenced the design and materials used for cremation urns, reflecting the artistic and cultural preferences of each era. Today, cremation urns continue to serve as meaningful vessels for preserving the memory and legacy of loved ones. But it is used in many other contexts; in catering large vessels for serving tea or coffee are often called "tea-urns", even when they are metal cylinders of purely functional design. Large sculpted vases are often called urns, whether placed outdoors, in gardens or as architectural ornaments on buildings, or kept inside.

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