Cre­ma­tions 1000 BCE

All About History - - WHAT IF… -

The prac­tise of burn­ing corpses on an open fire was pop­u­larised in the West by the

An­cient Greeks. While they also car­ried out ground burial – and all cre­mated ashes were in­terred, of­ten in an urn – cre­ma­tion was closely as­so­ci­ated with mil­i­tary glory and pa­tri­o­tism. It’s per­haps not surprising then that the Ro­mans also ap­pro­pri­ated this prac­tise, at least un­til the in­tro­duc­tion of Chris­tian­ity. The be­lief in the res­ur­rec­tion of the body saw ground burial become the norm in the West un­til the 19th cen­tury, ex­cept in emergencies like plague out­breaks. Cre­ma­tion also has a long his­tory in Asia – in par­tic­u­lar in In­dia, where ashes are de­posited in the Ganges.

“Cre­ma­tion also has a long his­tory in Asia”

An An­cient Greek cre­ma­tion urn from 850 BCE

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