An ancient underworld
All over the world and across history, different human societies have thought long and hard about what happens to people after they die.
A study of the dry-stone tombs at Maeshow in Orkney, which date back nearly 5,000 years, suggests that features of the side chambers were deliberately placed upside down because they were thought to be in the underworld.
According to this new interpretation, the walls separating these spaces from the main chamber formed the barrier between this world and the next.
The famous tomb is also carefully aligned so that during the winter solstice, the sun shines down a passageway and hits the back wall of the main chamber.
The beliefs of the inhabitants of Orkney in Neolithic times were obviously very different to those held today but, that said, they were attempting to answer the same fundamental questions about life and death that still occupy the minds of many.
What we share with our ancient ancestors is the idea that life is precious and that care should be taken when marking its passing.