Digging into the History of the Cemetery

The history of burial ritual may coincide with the history of human life. The ritual of burying the dead is thought to have started from human awareness and curiosity about the dead body. In every culture and civilization, humans know how to treat their dead family members or groups. 

Qafzeh Cemetery

The burial site in Qafzeh, Israel, was discovered in 1933 by R. Neuville, the French consul in Jerusalem, and M. Stekelis, an Israeli prehistoric. Based on the dating of skeletal fossils found in the cave, these findings are estimated to be 90,000 years old. 

Wild Animal Offerings

It was practiced in Tibet since 8,560 BC and is still practiced in some areas such as Qinghai, Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. Those who were still alive gathered to watch the chopped up corpses eaten by vultures. As followers of Vajrayana Buddhism, they consider the body to be just an empty shell. Sacrificing the body is a kind of charity. While vultures are believed to be angels who will take souls to the sky, to await reincarnation. 


The bodies are preserved with the aromatic sap of plants. The main sap used is balsam. The oldest methods of embalming required the body to be wrapped in cloth and buried in charcoaland sand in an area free from moisture. The famous one comes from Ancient Egypt between 4500 -3400 BC. 

Mesopotamian Burial

Burials by the Mesopotamians began 5,000 years ago. They made graves in the ground, which were believed to help spirits attain life after death. Funeral rituals usually include grave provisions such as food and utensils.

Sarcophagus Burial

The sarchopagus is a place to store corpses. Generally made of stone. This burial method was carried out by the Ancient Romans. In Indonesia, this tradition is known as one aspect of megalithic culture. One of the oldest and best known in the world is the golden sarcophagus of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings Cemetery, Luxor, Egypt, which dates back to 1323 BC.


It is done by burning the corpse to ashes. In Hinduism, cremation is considered to help release the spirit from worldly attachments. In this way, the material elements that make up the body more quickly re-unite with nature. Cremation became a common tradition in Ancient Greece in 800 BC. This ritual can still be found in India and Bali, Indonesia (ngaben).


In early AD, there were underground graves in various parts of the Roman Empire, especially in the city of Rome. It is known as the catacombs. Bodies were buried in the walls of the hall. The Romans started building it in the 2nd century AD. They deliberately chose areas of soft soil but hardened quickly when exposed to dry air. 


The Minahasa tribe in North Sulawesi has a tradition of burying their bodies, in a crouched position like the position of the fetus in the womb, on a stone called waruga. The position of the tomb and corpse is pointing north, according to the beliefs of the origins of the Minahasa people who came from the north. It is believed, this tradition has existed around the 9th century AD. In 1860 the Dutch government banned the burial of waruga. 

Solo Signs

Adopted by the Toraja people, South Sulawesi. In the belief of Aluk To Dolo, the higher the place where the corpse is placed, the faster the spirit will go to puya. So they put the bodies on the rock cliffs that were perforated. If the deceased is a nobleman, the family will slaughter 24-100 bufallo as a sacrifice. Carbon dating taken from fragments of wooden coffins reveals this practice to date back at least to the 9th century AD.

Trunyan's Tomb

In Trunyan Village, Kintamani, Bali, bodies are covered with rattan braids and placed in a forest area filled with tarumenyan trees. This sacred tree secretes natural enzymes that are able to remove the stench of corpses. It has not been ascertained since when this ritual appeared. However, it is said that the tarumenyan tree has been growing for the last 11 centuries.


In 950 AD, the Vikings in Scandinavia believed boats were vehicles for the afterlife. They also beat Viking warriors with burned boats. If not buried, the Vikings would bury their relatives and surround the grave with stones shaped like a boat.

Modern Embalming

The technique of embalming corpses in the modern era is carried out using chemicals. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), arsenic was used to preserve dead soldiers for shipping home. During the World War, formalin (formaldehyde) was injected into the arteries. 


Method of preserving corpses by replacing water and fat components in the body with certain types of plastic. The result is a specimen that is touchable, odorless or rotten, and durable. This method was created by Gunther von Hagens, a German anatomist, in 1977. He then founded the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg in 1993. 

Space Cemetery

Since 1997, rich people have been able to float the ashes of their families into space. The company Elysium Space from San Francisco, United States, offers this service with three options for releasing the ashes: in Earth's orbit and then descending as a shooting star (Shooting Star Memorial), the surface of the moon (Lunar Memorial), and into outer space until it leaves the solar system, and navigate the infinite universe (Milky Way Memorial).


Conducted in Scotland since 2007. This method is smokeless and considered more environmentally friendly. Resommation can cremate a corpse as quickly as cremation.The process does not use fire, but water and a strong base compound, potassium hydroxide.