People used to put coins over the eyes of their deceased so they could pay the toll to Charon on the way to the underworld. Or so i've heard. The practice is (or was) more widespread, geographically and chronologically, than belief in Charon or Hades per se, so there must be some other explanation - maybe it's related to the wealth in the Pharohs' tombs?

Contrary to popular speculation, when a person dies it is sometimes very difficult to close his/her eyes. Therefore the superstitious practice which ideath refers to above coincidentally and conveniently coincides with the fact that long ago people would also place coins over the eyes of a deceased loved one so that they would stay shut. Nowadays the eyes are either glued or sewn shut by the mortician.

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