For a century from the 420s BC onwards it was customary to place a funerary relief at the tombs of the deceased citizens of Athens. The stelae were erected in family graveyards and were sometimes also engraved with the name of a family member who passed away later. The tombstones were decorated with ribbons and wreaths — they formed the centre of the family’s cult of the dead. The relief immortalised the deceased. Looking back from today, it may seem surprising that no attempt was made to show their features in a realistic way. The face and the body are always beautiful — they are memories of the dead. Each stele is unique, but the scenes carved on them were chosen from a few types based on which was deemed the most characteristic of the deceased. The tombstones often show women selecting their jewellery, mothers embracing their children, or men parting from their family and leaving for battle. The reliefs thus immortalised a moment regarded as typical of the deceased. This is how they wanted to remember their loved ones.