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How does the sacrophagus actually eats up the flesh of a human body? Its amazing isnt it if the stone, limestone, will actually absorb the moisture of the flesh and slowly make the body part of the enclosure?



Yeah, same question here. What's this about "consuming the flesh" ?? Does it mean only that the body dries out or something more complicated? Inquiring minds, etc. 19:54, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Yep. I have to echo the same question. More detail is in order. Anyone know anything about this? —CKA3KA (Skazka) (talk) 08:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I was taught that what happens is that as the body decomposes and liquefies, the liquid seeps through the somewhat porous limestone eventually, leaving the bones behind. Hence the limestone is "eating" specifically the flesh but not the bones. How long this process takes I have no idea and I can't cite any sources. --BAW (talk) 16:56, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Removed bit about eating flesh.[edit]

Since there have been no objections so far, I've removed the following paragraph from the article:

The 5th century BC Greek historian Herodotus noted that early sarcophagi were carved from a special kind of rock that consumed the flesh of the corpse inside. In particular, coffins made of a limestone from Assus in the Troad known as lapis Assius had the property of consuming the bodies placed within them, and therefore was also called sarkophagos lithos (flesh-eating stone). All coffins made of limestone have this property to a greater or lesser degree, and the name eventually came to be applied to stone coffins in general.

It's intriguing, so I've put it here in case anyone can find a credible source for it.

I also removed the phrase "(the "goo-goo")" from the last paragraph. I looked at the page for the fly family Sarcophagidae, and there was no reference to its being called the "goo-goo." If this is true, then it needs a citation AND it needs to be placed in the article for Sarcophagidae, not the article on the sarcophagus. —CKA3KA (Skazka) (talk) 18:47, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


Should the plural really be sarcophagi? The -us to -i form is Latin, and this page confirms that sarcophagus is from the Greek. It seems to me that applying the Latin plural is meaningless, and there should either be some Greek form, as in octopodes, or we should go by the rules of English (this being the English language wikipedia, not the fake Latin one) and say sarcophaguses, although it doesn't really roll off the tongue. (talk) 14:28, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Sarcophagi is always the plural I've seen used in articles about sarcophagi. Nev1 (talk) 14:33, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
But why? It doesn't make any sense75.73.32.46 (talk) 19:01, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Sense? In English? :) The OED says 'Pl. -phagi ... Also 8 -fagus' - I think -phagi is more common —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Just because it's more common doesn't mean it's correct. Take "octopi" for instance. The correct plural is "octopodes", because it derives from Greek. But I'm not sure exactly what declension the adjectival gerund is. I see "-oi" and "-a" as possibilities. It would technically be "eating of flesh". I have no idea how to conjugate Greco-Roman languages. Can we get a Greek speaker here to sort this out? ForestAngel (talk) 01:30, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
Repeat to yourself: "English is not Latin". English largely use descriptive rules, i.e. what people say is correct. Octopodes might be a correct Latin plural of a third-declension noun, but that doesn't in itself make it correct English. The standard rule for forming plurals in English, including most foreign imports, is add "-s" (or "-es" if it already ends with an s sound). "Octopuses" is emphatically correct, because it is a perfectly valid English plural, and "octopi" has the justification that it is a very frequently used plural. You cannot fix the majority, you have to shrug and accept that while "sarcophagi" lacks any semblance of classical justification, it is nonetheless the correct one, and the plural you should use in your English essays. Feel free to blog about how inconsistent English is, and how English should behave more like Latin, but as for correctness, both octopi and sarcophagi are correct in English (but not necessarily in other languages). For the record, I think most style guides prefer octopuses over octopi. Don't use "octopodes" except in jest or slang writing. Well-meaning grammar-nazis are responsible for adding an erroneous "c" in "scissors" and "scythe", thinking that they were derived from the latin "scindere" (to split or divide). Does this mean that you should drop the "c", just because the justification is wrong? No, of course not. English is full of these examples, but short of a dictatorial edict, I see no other solution than to learn to live with it.--Vilding1 (talk) 17:36, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Being a book person, someone who prefers books to the internet, I looked up what to me would be the ultimate source for this sort of argument, Erwin Panofsky's Tomb Sculpture. Panifsky is an old school art historian, comfortable with both Greek and Latin, as almost any page in the book will attest. and he uses "Sarcophagi ", so if it good enough for him it should be (opinion) good enough for wikipedia. Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 17:48, 4 December 2014 (UTC)