Why do they place coins on the eyes of the dead?

Answer

In Ancient Greek tradition, coins would be placed over the eyes of the dead so they would be able to pay the toll to Charon, ferryman of the River Styx. Occasionally the coins would be placed in the mouth instead.

This tradition persists in many other cultures today, such as Irish and modern day Egyptian and Greek burial rites. Though there are culturally relevant explanations for each of these, the earliest known occurrences were in Greece, prior to the rise of Rome. In fact, this was one tradition that Roman culture adopted after it conquered Greece, along with much of its pantheon and many of its festivals.

Reference:
Q&A Related to "Why do they place coins on the eyes of the dead..."
I believe it goes back to a tradition that so they can cross the river Styx in the afterlife, but they'd have to pay a ferryman to cross.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_do_some_people_cover...
"pay the ferryman. Believes that death was a PHYSICAL passage, and
http://www.chacha.com/question/why-do-irish-put-co...
In ancient Greek and Roman mythology Charon was the ferryman who would take the souls of the dead across the River Styx to the underworld. He demanded payment for the crossing and
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200902...
Greek mythology: 'Charon, the ferryman who carries the souls of the dead across the Lethe, (which means 'river of forgetfulness'). It is from this culture that we get the concept
http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200...
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