For many decades, burial has been by far the most common form of disposition in the world for many nations and civilisations. Things, however, are starting to change as creation is on a rise and many people prefer it nowadays.
Despite how long the practice has been around (more than 3,000 years!), it can be a bit of a mystery. That’s because most people never see what’s behind the scenes. But, understanding how it works can help decrease the anxiety that many people feel about the process of cremation and all that follows, like choosing the right cremation urns.
We believe the information we found would be helpful. Here is what you need to know.
History of Cremation
Cremation, as a form of disposition, probably began in the early Stone Age – around 3000 B.C. – most likely in Europe and the Near East, even though, there may be evidence that people cremated bodies in China as early as 8000 B.C.
Cremation was practiced by many ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. In ancient Greece, cremation was the dominant form of disposal for the dead, and it was believed to free the soul from the body and allow it to move on to the afterlife.
The ancient Greeks seem to have adopted cremation from some northern people as an imperative of war, ensuring that warriors slain in enemy's territory a homeland funeral attended by family and fellow citizens.
The Aztec emperor Ahuitzotl being cremated.Photo by Wikipedia.
The Romans followed Greek and Trojan fashion in cremating their military heroes.
During the rise of Christianity, cremation was largely abandoned in favor of burial, as it was seen as a pagan practice. In the Middle Ages, cremation was also seen as a way to avoid punishment for crimes committed in life, and it was outlawed by many governments.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cremation was reintroduced as a practical and hygienic way to dispose of the dead. It was also seen as a way to save space in crowded urban areas. The first modern crematorium was established in Milan, Italy in 1876, and the practice quickly spread throughout Europe and the United States.
In other worlds cremation is not something new.
Today, cremation is widely practised in many nations around the world, with rates ranging from less than 2 percent in Ghana to more than 99 percent in Japan.
Today, cremation is a popular form of funeral service around the world, with more than half of all deaths in some countries, such as Japan and the United Kingdom, resulting in cremation. In the United States, cremation rates have been steadily increasing, with over 50% of Americans choosing cremation over burial.
The Process of Cremation
Before a deceased person is cremated, a funeral director must first obtain authorisation to cremate the decedent from the deceased person’s family members(s). All jewellery and medical devices must be removed before the cremation.
The body is then placed in a cremation casket, usually made of wood or another material, which is suitable for burning during the cremation cycle.
Cremation reduces the body to its basic elements through a process that exposes it to high temperature fire, intense heat and evaporation. This is done in a specially designed cremation chamber.
Cremation of a body is carried out at a temperature ranging between 1200 to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.
The severe heat helps reduce the body to its basic elements, ashes and dried bone fragments.
The bodies are mostly burned one at a time. There is usually no smell because the emissions are processed to destroy the smoke and vaporise the gases.
It generally takes about 1 to 2 hours for a body to be completely reduced to ashes by cremation.
Factors Affecting Cremation Time
The duration of a cremation usually depends on several factors. Here are some of them:
- weight and size of the body mass.
- percentage of body fat to muscle mass
- the performance of the used cremation equipment
- operating temperature of the cremation chamber
- the type of cremation container or casket in which the body is placed
After the entire process is complete, a cool down period of 40 minutes is needed before the ashes can be given for further processing.
The remaining bone fragments are then placed in a cylindrical container, which processes them to ashes.
It's important to note that cremation is a personal choice and is not mandated by law. Some cultures and religions prohibit or discourage cremation, while others encourage it as a respectful and dignified way of handling the remains of the deceased.
Cremation uns for ashes by Pulvis Art Urns.
The ashes are placed in a plastic bag within a temporary cremation urn provided by either the family or the funeral company. The urn is then returned to the family.
Cremation Around The World
In Hinduism, for example, cremation is a common practice. Hindus believe that when a body is cremated, the soul is returned to its proper place in the divine force. Cremation rituals in that part of the world usually last less than a day.
Cremation is less common in Latin America, where traditional burial is still the dominant form of funeral rite. However, cremation rates are increasing in some countries, such as Brazil and Mexico.
Cremation is relatively uncommon in Africa, where traditional burial practices are still prevalent. However, cremation rates are increasing in some countries, such as South Africa and Kenya.
Cremation is widely spread In the Scandinavian countries, as the ancient pagan Scandinavians believed that it helped free the spirit from the body. These practices paralleled the Roman and Greek cremations.
The revival of interest in cremation in the United States and Europe began in the 19th century. Although before that cremation was not a taboo among Christians, it was not encouraged by them because of pagan associations and because of the fear that it might interfere with the promised revival of the body. This type of disposal during the Dark Ages was used only in case of emergencies, as the outbreak of the Black Death in the 17th century.
Cremation in the modern manner is quite different. However, many people prefer it instead of a burial, due to the advantages it brings – it is much cheaper, it is eco-friendly, it does not take cemetery space and there are many options for handling the ashes of a loved one.
Overall, cremation is a popular form of funeral rite around the world, with cultural and religious attitudes toward death and burial practices influencing its prevalence in different regions.