Short History of Urn Burial


Burial UrnsThroughout history, the remains of deceased loved ones have been handled in various ways, and the traditions followed were often dependent upon the religious or family beliefs of the deceased, along with culture and political views. Shallow graves and elaborate tombs were often made the final resting place for remains, and burial urns were used to contain the ashes or remains of the deceased for burial.

Controversy Surrounding Cremation or Burial Urns

Cremation, or the burning of the body resulting in ashes, is a practice that researchers believe originated in Europe in the early Stone Age era. In following centuries, the process became spread over a wide area as cultures and countries around the world began implementing the practice. The practice of cremating the remains of a loved one nearly came to a halt as Christians objected due to the belief that the entire body should be buried in a traditional manner. Health concerns such as the black plague brought exceptions to traditional burial, and Professor Brunetti invented the first cremation chamber in 1873, reviving the popularity of cremation as a funeral option.

Religious Concerns

In China, cremation was not easily accepted due to the strong belief in preservation of the body and the afterlife. Body preservation was important, and the Chinese felt that placing items of meaning in the coffin was essential for making their ancestors happy and comfortable. Later on, when Buddhism was introduced into the culture, the Chinese became less reluctant to the practice of cremation and began placing funeral urns containing the remains of loved ones in tombs.

Pewter Burial Urn

The Discovery of Burial Urns

In India during a time period between 1876 and the early 1900s over 160 burial urns were unearthed at an archaeological dig at a burial ground. These urns were crafted of pottery, and many were illustrated with golden crowns and animals. Buried alongside these urns it was discovered that many other items were included such as arrowheads, spearheads, axes, and iron and copper objects. It seems that cremation was not practiced at this time in ancient Indian culture, as the burial urns were found to contain skeletal remains that were usually found in a squatting position.

Urns for Burial Take a Personal Approach

Throughout history and today, burial urns have been personalized and are a meaningful choice for funerals. Marble, glass, bronze, wood, metal and ceramic are just a few of the materials you will find available in cremation urns today. For burial, metal or bronze is often the material of choice. Even today, religious or family practices are considered in the design process of burial urns, which come in various sizes to accommodate a small child, an adult, or even more than one person.

Burial urns have been an integral part of funeral burial practices in various cultures for centuries and continue to be so today, as the practice of cremation continues to gain popularity.

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