“Refrigerium”, the special burial rite is revealed for the first time

“Culture in 1 minute” / Episode 8

During the excavations carried out in the months of September-October 2021, archaeologists managed to discover a very special burial rite that is encountered for the first time in the territory of Durres. It is thought to be the first of its kind in the territory of Albania.

The Refrigerium was a memorial meal consumed above (or inside) a tomb. He was done cyclically on the day of death, on the ninth day after death and then on each anniversary. During his realization, water, wine, milk or honey were poured on the grave of the deceased, in order to comfort or “refresh” (hence the Latin word ‘Refrigerium’) of his soul, which as it was believed at that time was always close to the body.

Brikena Shkodra-Rrugia is the archaeologist who led the scientific research that was implemented by the Institute of Archeology and she tells in the video “Culture in 1 minute” about the discovery that was found in a cemetery with 12 graves, belonging to 3 different chronological periods, which thought to date from the late 6th century AD.

For more follow the video posted on the top.


Producer and narrator: Geri Emiri
Historical information: Dorian Hatibi
Video-Production: Arlind Veshti

This video was developed with the support of the “Media for All” project, funded by the UK Government. The views and opinions expressed on the video are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the constitutions of the donors.

Photo on the head: From the published video.

Reference: 1. M.Triacca: “Nuovo dizionario di liturgia. A cura di Domenico Sartore e Achille”. Fq. 1530. Milano 1995;

2. Van der Leeuw, G: “Refrigerium. Mnemosyne”. Fq. 3(2), 125–148. 1936.