Download Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial by Penny Colman PDF

By Penny Colman

Drawing on large old and anthropological study, own money owed, and interviews with those who paintings within the funeral undefined, Penny Colman examines the compelling matters of dying and burial throughout cultures and societies. The textual content, enriched with tales either funny and poignant, contains information about the decomposition and embalming techniques (an grownup corpse buried intercourse toes deep with out a coffin will frequently take 5 to 10 years to show right into a skeleton) and describes a number of the customs linked to containing continues to be (the Igala humans in Nigeria have a customized of burying humans in as many as twenty-seven layers of clothing). interesting evidence are published at each flip; for instance, in Madagascar wintry weather was once thought of the corpse-turning season.

This finished booklet additionally encompasses a record of burial websites of well-known humans, photographs within the arts linked to demise, attention-grabbing epitaphs and headstone carvings, a chronology and a thesaurus, and over 100 black-and-white photos, so much of which have been taken through the author.

Penny Colman writes with compassion and intelligence and humanizes the tricky matters of loss of life and burial. the result's a strong examine an inevitable a part of life--death.

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Extra resources for Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial

Sample text

Finally Frieda said that she was ready to go to sleep and that I should go home to my family. As I drove home I kept thinking about the absolute stillness of Willi’s body, a stillness that I had never experienced before. “Dead is dead,” I heard myself saying out loud. ” Two Death Is Destiny: Understanding Death My sister, Cam, was three years old when our brother Jon died and six years old when our father died. As a three-year-old, Cam didn’t really understand that Jon’s death was final. She kept waiting for him to appear.

Decomposition is just one of the things that can happen to corpses. They can also serve as treasure troves. For example, tissues and organs can be transplanted from dead people to living people. At least twenty-five different types of tissue and organs can be used for transplants. ” I spotted this billboard with a message about organ and tissue donations in southern California. While I was writing this book, I saw a bumper sticker that read: “Don’t take your organs to heaven. ” In the United States, organ donations are governed by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which has been adopted by every state with slight variations.

Other scientists suggest that prehistoric people thought that red ocher symbolized blood and could be used to magically revitalize the corpse. There are several ideas about what it means that many corpses were buried with their legs flexed and lying on their sides. One idea is that this burial position resembles how a baby lies in the womb; therefore prehistoric people may have believed in rebirth. Since many of the legs and arms seemed tightly flexed as if they had been bound, another idea is that perhaps prehistoric people feared death and bound dead people to ensure that they stayed put.

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