The History of Cemeteries

A cemetery is a place that is set aside for the burial of the dead. The first cemeteries known in history were the Christian catacombs.

As Christianity became widely adopted as a religion and churches were established, cemeteries were put next to these churches. By the 7th century, the church in Europe controlled the burial of the dead. The dead were therefore buried only on the consecrated ground of the church. However, church land was limited. By the early 1800s, church yards had become crowded. They posed a health risk as graves were stacked on top of each other. Others were emptied to make room for the burial of other faithful.

Garden cemeteries were established in reaction to this. These consisted of land that was owned by municipals, individuals or companies. They provided more room for the burial of the dead. They also provided a resting ground for those who were not part of the church.

The style of cemeteries today varies a great deal internationally. In general, cemeteries are considered hallowed ground and are therefore respected. They often include a crematorium for burning the dead. They may also include a chapel or other religious building to accommodate different religious beliefs.

Most cities do not allow for cemeteries to be based within populated areas for health reasons. Cemeteries are also thought to take up a lot of valuable urban space, which could become a problem as the city grows. Most cemeteries are therefore located on the outskirts of major cities.

Some states allow for families to bury their loved ones on their private property. A permit may be required for this. In many cases, this is only allowed for those with large estates, and can therefore create a private burial site on the estate.

Samantha Milano 6/21/18