Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The History of the Dead

Recently I was reading this article discussing mortuary issues. Among other things, it touches on the history of interning the dead, which is morbidly fascinated. In 19th century Britain, the London cemeteries got so bad that coffins were stacked on top of each other without much earth in between, and there was also a stench. I was recently reading Mary Olivier, a novel about 19th century Britain, and much of the novel takes place in cemeteries because (spoiler alert) almost everyone in the main character's family dies. And they allude, briefly, to this problem. There is also information about medieval burial practices. The poor, unsurprisingly, were buried in mass graves.
The article also talks about the recent problems. Apparently 70 to 80 percent of U.K. citizens are cremated and they still have problems with not enough space. Greece only allows people to buried in the ground for three years.

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