A lacrymatory or lachrymatory (Lat. lacrima, a tear) is a small vessel of terracotta or, more frequently, of glass, found in Roman and late Greek tombs. Lacrymatories were held or worn around the neck. Mourners, weeping for their loved ones, would collect their tears into them. The special top allowed tears to evaporate, which would then signify the time to stop the mourning. Others were sealed to keep the tears for a year, after which the tears would be spilled on the grave of the person for whom they were meant.


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