The Howff is a burial ground in Dundee. Established in 1564, it has one of the most important collections of tombstones in Scotland. The land of the burial ground was part of the Franciscan (Greyfriars) Monastery until the Scottish Reformation. In 1564 Mary, Queen of Scots granted the land to the burgh of Dundee, for use as a burial ground. It was used for meetings by the Dundee Incorporated Trades. Old parish records for burials within The Howff begin in the late 18th century. Prior to this records of mortcloth hire, a cloth rented out by the Guildry and Trades to cover bodies or coffins before burial, provide evidence of burials dating back to 1655. Meetings at The Howff ceased in 1776. The last burial took place in 1878 (George Duncan). The walls along the west side date from 1601.
The vault to the extreme south west (now simply saying 'Blackness' inside) was the burial Vault of the Wedderburns of Blackness House in Dundee. A sealed window on its exterior appear to indicate this was either a watch-house or part of the original meeting-house prior to the vault being built (c.1630).
The graveyard is highly unusual by Scottish standards, containing a high number of Roman-style coffer tombs. It also contains a high number of inscriptions which philosophise on death itself rather than discussing the person interred.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.