The majority of people in the Western world plan on being buried or cremated when their earth life will come to an end. However, if you think that everyone has always done that, you must read this post and get ready to be surprised. Traditions that nowadays may seem “weird” were the norm in the past.
In the ancient city of Çatalhöyük (Turkey) – 9000 years ago one of the world largest settlements – people used to bury their beloved under their houses. An attempt not to separate themselves from their ancestors: emotionally but also physically.
Somehow the same logic stands behind the ancient tradition of co-burial. In ancient China and Egypt relatives, wives or slaves were killed and buried with the dead person. Animals as well as precious objects were also buried with the deceased.
In ancient Egypt – as it is known – it was a common practice the mummification of the body. Brain and internal organs were removed, cavities were packed with spices and finally the body was wrapped in strips of linen.
The grave in itself played a fundamental role in the burial process, too. Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs while in the western world kings, queens and important personalities had their tombs in magniloquent churches.
Another important aspect to be considered in this discussion is the feeling of fear traditionally associated with death and generated by the unknown of the after death. Thus, the return of the soul and the fear of ghosts have always influenced burial rites. In some parts of ancient Greece people used to put iron nails across the dead bodies to prevent an eventual undesired resurrection.
However, if you think that “weird” traditions belong only to the past, you are wrong! Wait for my next post and I promise you’ll get astonished with the present.
In the meanwhile, you can try with us the greenest burial rite ever: become a tree after life with Bios Urn :)