A Look at Cremations Through History

 Cremation has a rich history, being present in civilisations like the Neanderthals, Greeks and Romans. With the coming of Christianity, it was banned. Now, however, it is increasing in popularity, with many families going for cremation as their burial package of choice.

 

Neanderthals

Archaeological research shows that the Neanderthals did engage in funeral rites – specifically, cremation.

 

Greeks

However, cremation began to truly develop when the Greeks approached it. This was because the Greeks were involved in many wars. After each war, they would gather up the bodies and burn them on foreign land, as they were unable to take them back to home soil.

The ashes, however, were taken back home, where they were scattered after a service.

This association with military made cremation a way of life, and many Greeks viewed it as a symbol for pride, patriotism and valour.

 

Romans

Early Romans followed and embraced the cremation historical trend that the Greeks had set. They practiced it so widely that a law had to be issued, banning the cremation and spreading of ashes within the city.

The practice of cremation was popular enough for an urn industry to flourish under the rule of the Roman Empire, with cremated remains being stored in beautiful, elaborate urns.

However, the Romans did not see it fit to store ashes inside their homes. Instead, they built columbarium-like buildings, where rows of beautiful urns were stored.

 

Christianity

Christianity transformed the funeral traditions of the world. They viewed cremations as pagan and as a direct and active way to show disbelief in resurrection after death. After Constantine’s Christianisation of the Empire in 400 A.D., they instilled burials as the funeral of the masses.

Burials continued to be used, unless in cases of war or epidemics, until the French Revolution, where the French wanted to reduce the church’s influence on death and the funeral process.

 

1800s

Cremations started to come back into the modern world in the 1800s, when worries about the hygiene of burials and funerals were placed under question.

Because of this, the first crematory was built by Dr. Julius LeMoyne. This allowed bodies to be cremated in a safe and controlled environment. Although the Catholic Church continued to oppose cremations, they began to rise in popularity and have continued to rise ever since.

 

Modern Cremation

Now-a-days, many people choose cremation for their loved ones, for a number of different reasons, from cost to desire to a wish to be more environmentally friendly. Often, they combine it with an elegant service.

 

Let Us Help You

A cremation offers a beautiful and elegant way to say goodbye to your loved one. Perth Cremations understand that and are here to help. If you have any questions about the packages we offer, or if you would like to speak to our funeral director, please contact us online or call us on 1300 84 1539. Together, we can organise the funeral your loved one deserves, at a price you can afford.