Category Archives: Burial

Interesting facts about burial practices

Fu Shou Yuan

Fu Shou Yuan, valued at about $1.4 billion, expects death services in China to become a $16.5 billion industry by 2017. The company said that proceeds from the stock sell-off would be used to purchase land that is suitable for clients’ eternal slumber.

Image Credit: Flickr via Eddie Awad
Image Credit: Flickr via Eddie Awad

Despite its huge success, the Chinese government isn’t too thrilled about Fu Shou Yuan taking up valuable real estate in heavily congested cities. Amid criticism from both state media and members of the public, who assert that some burial service providers charge exorbitant fees and disregard industry standards, the communist government has recommended cremation – even burial at sea – as more sustainable alternatives.

“Despite the government’s disapproval, many Chinese still prefer traditional burial,” wrote Bloomberg. “For them, Fu Shou Yuan offers a wide selection that includes artistic tombs designed, as the company touts on its website, ‘totally according to the customers’ interest and requirements.’ … E-commerce is booming in China, so naturally Fu Shou Yuan has an online shopping option, with customers able to choose from more than 60 different tombstones.”

Those hoping to be enshrined at one of Fu Shou Yuan’s high-class burial facilities must have banks accounts as large as those of the celebrities already resting there. A plot in Shanghai reportedly sells for more than $30,000 – and that is the basic cost of land, without burial fees, headstones, or any other cemetery swag.

On the other hand, the Chinese government has promised to pay Shanghai residents’ families approximately $330 to scatter their ashes over Hangzhou Bay. With more than 9 million deaths a year, China is expected to run out of space to bury them in as little as six years.

source the diplomat

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Burial Stress

Burials being delayed as floods create dangerous conditions at graveyards

Floods in Somerset and the Thames Valley have seen funerals put on hold as wet ground is too dangerous for gravediggers

Flooded cemeteries and even those outside flooded areas where the ground is waterlogged are causing difficulties in digging graves. Photograph: Michael Scott/Demotix/Corbis
Flooded cemeteries and even those outside flooded areas where the ground is waterlogged are causing difficulties in digging graves. Photograph: Michael Scott/Demotix/Corbis

The flood crisis is causing further anguish for bereaved families as wet ground is making burials impossible in the worst-hit areas.
Authorities say there is little they can do about weather-related funeral delays that have been described as “absolutely abnormal”. While families face the possibility of extra distress, the floods have created dangerous conditions for gravediggers.
Crematoriums have not been immune from the issue either, with one having to close for about two months due to flooding.
Source The Guardian 18-2-12014

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Poorest people cannot afford costs of dying.

The poorest people in society cannot afford to pay the costs of funerals, a survey has revealed. Researchers said the average cost of dying – including funeral, burial or cremation and state administration – stands at £7,622, having risen by 7.1% in the past year.

They estimate that more than 100,000 people will struggle to pay for a funeral this year. The authors of the study at the University of Bath’s Institute for Policy Research have called on the government to review the system of state support for funeral costs.

In spite of the lowest recorded mortality rates for England and Wales, the cost of dying has increased over recent years. The average cost of a funeral rose by 80% between 2004 and 2013 and is expected to continue to increase.

source the Guardian

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How Much Is Your Dead Body Worth?

Dead bodies have become big business.

Each year millions of people’s lives are improved by the use of tissue from the dead. Bodies are used to supply spare parts, and for surgeons to practice on. Horizon investigates the medical revolution that has created an almost insatiable demand for body parts and uncovers the growing industry and grisly black market that supplies human bodies for a price.

They removed the video from Youtube ;-(


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Burial Stress

Philippine city overwhelmed by task of burying typhoon victims

In Tacloban, the Philippine city hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan, hundreds of bodies are hastily buried in a long trench. More corpses lie in the streets or still covered by rubble.

Typhoon Haiyan victims buried in trench in Tacloban, Philippines
Workers load bodies into a long trench for burial in Tacloban, Philippines, the city hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan. Authorities wanted to dig a second trench to accommodate more of the dead, but the backhoe had stopped working. (Kevin Frayer / AFP/Getty Images / November 17, 2013)

In a hilltop cemetery, a truck stacked high with body bags backed up to a yawning trench. With no time for ceremony, police and firefighters wearing face masks and plastic gloves unloaded the bags and placed them in a communal grave.
A week after one of the strongest typhoons on record swept through the central Philippines, the task of burying the dead remains in full gear here in Tacloban, the hardest-hit city.
Some bodies still lie in the streets. Other corpses remain buried under towering piles of rubble.Overwhelmed by the scale of devastation, government officials here took several days to assemble the workers and equipment necessary to undertake the grim task.
Read the rest at the source LA times

This is an illustration how fragile and dependent on humanity has become on fossil fuels for burials. Without a backhoe digging a trench like the one in the picture is not a easy task.

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Unclaimed Corpse Indicator

The Concept: Because of high funeral costs, family members never claim the bodies of the deceased so the state will pay for costs.

Unclaimed Corpse Indicator
bmward_2000 via flickr

The Proof: In 2009, at the height of the financial crisis when non-farm payrolls were falling by more than half a million a month, Detroit logged a massive increase in the number of unclaimed bodies at its morgue. State payouts for burials nearly doubled over a two month period compared to just a year earlier.

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Cremation on Cuba

Cremation an option for increasing numbers of Cubans today  10 / 06 / 2007

What before was a sporadic event now is a growing demand in Cuban society, commented Víctor Valdés Morales, director of the Necrology Services of Havana.

According to this official, since last May, Provincial Necrology Services of the city began to offer cremation services. During this period 113 bodies have undergone this process. Valdés Morales explains that this system is a boon to the environment by reducing the number of burials in the 21 cemeteries of the capital that some present problems of availability of niches and crypts.

“Current practice demonstrates that requests in funeral culture are expected to increase. By that time we will have cold storage chambers which we do not have at present and that limits to six the number of services a day,” the official explained.

From tradition to will Although it may seem incredible, a survey done by this paper among inhabitants of the capital revealed that cremation is the preferred option above the old tradition of burial.

The Crematorium was built in the New Guanabacoa Cemetery and was finished in January of 2006. Since then it began setting up the new incinerator, manufactured in Spain with advanced technology. The process was responsibility of technicians and assistants, specialists of the Center of Automation and Engineering of the Ministry of Informatics and Communications and engineers of the Electricity Company of the capital as well as the National Association of Innovators and Rationalization.

Eyder González Caobí, one of the operators of the equipment mentioned initiatives of Cuban technicians preparing an electronic command panel and the design of a tray to deposit the body that allows a better manipulation of bones and speed up the incineration that is calculated to last, approximately, two and a half hours.

Source: By Marianela Martín, Lourdes Pérez, Ariel B. Coya, Juventud Rebelde

Read more: Original article here! Cuba Headlines

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Burial space

Burial space in England could run out in 20 years

Tim Morris, from the Institute of Cemetery and Crematoria Management, said: “Money needed to build new cemeteries could be saved, and spent on the living, through the re-use of graves,” he said.

He said such a move would involve lifting out remains from graves that are more than 75-years-old, burying them deeper in the same grave and then re-using the space on top.

A 2007 law permits this in London cemeteries but does not yet apply to the rest of England.

The City of London Cemetery, which is run by the City of London Corporation, is the only cemetery preparing to “lift and deepen”.

Gary Burks, superintendent of the cemetery, said: “I believe that is achievable and acceptable. And I feel that it’s appropriate for the world we live in.

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Reutilizing body parts in middle ages

The bandages which Schmidt used so successfully were almost certainly steeped in human fat obtained from state executions.

As these slowly became less frequent, human fat may have become harder to obtain (and more costly) back in the Old World. Its economic value was certainly well known. For, at Rushall in Norfolk in 1736, after a man and his wife had “had some words”, the husband suddenly “went out and hanged himself”. Eschewing funeral or burial, “his wife sent for a surgeon, and sold the body for half a guinea”. While the surgeon was carefully “feeling about the body”, she assured him: “he is fit for your purpose, he is as fat as butter”; after which the deceased “was put naked into a sack, with his legs hanging out, thrown upon a cart, and conveyed to the surgeons”.

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Back to Bedlam

Crossrail digging unearths ancient London burial ground

Tunnelling project’s chief archaeologist says up to 4,000 bodies of plague victims and asylum inmates may be discovered
Every day hordes of London commuters have passed unknowingly over the bodies of thousands of their predecessors, buried a few metres under the roaring traffic and rumbling trains at Liverpool Street, and which are now being exposed for the first time by the huge Crossrail construction project.

An archaeologist unearths a human skull at the Crossrail building site at London's Liverpool Street station. Photograph: Martin Godwin
An archaeologist unearths a human skull at the Crossrail building site at London’s Liverpool Street station. Photograph: Martin Godwin

The bodies include those of mentally ill patients from Bethlem, the ancient and notorious asylum from which the word Bedlam entered the English language. Bodies that were never claimed by their families – often those of beaten, starved and exploited inmates – would have ended up in the burial ground alongside rich and poor, old and young, victims of plague and war, from across London.
The walled, two-acre burial ground was opened in the mid-17th century by order of the mayor of London. It was the first built away from the city’s parish churches and their bursting, grossly overfilled graveyards and was usually known as Bedlam.

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