Grave (burial)


Grave (burial)

A grave is a place where a dead body (usually a human, although sometimes an animal) is buried. The grave is usually in a graveyard or cemetery.

Graves may contain objects that provide clues for archaeologists about the life and culture of the time.

In some religions, it is believed that the body must be intact for the soul to survive; in others, the complete decomposition of the body is important for the rest of the soul (Jewish burial).

Parts of a grave

The parts of a grave are usually:

Grave cut. The excavation that formed the grave. This can vary from a shallow scraping, to removal of topsoil to a depth of 6 feet (1.8 meters), or more where a vault or burial chamber is to be constructed.

Excavated spoil. The material dug up when the grave is excavated. Often piled up close to the grave for backfilling and then returned to the grave to cover it. As soil decompresses when excavated and space is occupied by the burial not all the volume of soil fits back in the hole, so often evidence is found of remaining soil. In cemeteries this may end up as a thick layer of spoil overlying the original ground surface.

Burial or interment. The body may be placed in a coffin or other container, in a wide range of positions, by itself or in a multiple burial, with or without personal possessions of the deceased.

Burial vault. A vault is a structure built within the grave to receive the body. It may be used to prevent crushing of the remains, allow for multiple burials such as a family vault, retrieval of remains for transfer to an ossuary, or because it forms a monument.

Grave backfill. The soil returned to the grave cut following burial. This material may contain artifacts derived from the original excavation and prior site use, deliberately placed goods or artifacts or later material. The fill may be left level with the ground or mounded.

Monument or marker. Headstones are best known but they can be supplemented by decorative edging, foot stones, posts to support items, a solid covering or other options.

ee also

*Burial
*Burial vault
*Cemetery
*Christian burial
*Crypt
*Dolmen
*Eco-Burial
*Gravedigger
*Headstone
*Mausoleum
*Monumental inscription
*Premature burial
*Tomb
*Tumulus
*War grave


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Burial — This article is about human burial practices. For other uses, see Burial (disambiguation). Inhume redirects here. for the band, see Inhume (band). Underwater funeral in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from an edition with drawings by… …   Wikipedia

  • burial — /ber ee euhl/, n. 1. the act or ceremony of burying. 2. the place of burying; grave. [1200 50; BURY + AL2; r. ME buriel, back formation from OE byrgels burial place, equiv. to byrg(an) to BURY + els n. suffix; cf. RIDDLE1] * * * Ritual disposal… …   Universalium

  • burial — Synonyms and related words: baptism, barrow, beehive tomb, bone house, box grave, burial at sea, burial chamber, burial customs, burial mound, burying, catacombs, cenotaph, charnel house, cist, cist grave, clouding, concealedness, concealment,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • grave — Modern English has essentially two words grave. Grave ‘burial place’ goes back ultimately to prehistoric Indo European *ghrebh ‘dig’, which also produced Latvian grebt ‘hollow out’ and Old Church Slavonic pogreti ‘bury’. Its Germanic descendant… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • grave — Modern English has essentially two words grave. Grave ‘burial place’ goes back ultimately to prehistoric Indo European *ghrebh ‘dig’, which also produced Latvian grebt ‘hollow out’ and Old Church Slavonic pogreti ‘bury’. Its Germanic descendant… …   Word origins

  • Burial at sea — for two casualties of a Japanese submarine attack on the US aircraft carrier USS Liscome Bay, November 1943 Burial at sea describes the procedure of disposing of human remains in the ocean, normally from a ship or boat. It is regularly performed… …   Wikipedia

  • Burial — Bur i*al, n. [OE. buriel, buriels, grave, tomb, AS. byrgels, fr. byrgan to bury, and akin to OS. burgisli sepulcher.] 1. A grave; a tomb; a place of sepulture. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The erthe schook, and stoones weren cloven, and biriels weren… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burial case — Burial Bur i*al, n. [OE. buriel, buriels, grave, tomb, AS. byrgels, fr. byrgan to bury, and akin to OS. burgisli sepulcher.] 1. A grave; a tomb; a place of sepulture. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The erthe schook, and stoones weren cloven, and biriels… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burial ground — Burial Bur i*al, n. [OE. buriel, buriels, grave, tomb, AS. byrgels, fr. byrgan to bury, and akin to OS. burgisli sepulcher.] 1. A grave; a tomb; a place of sepulture. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The erthe schook, and stoones weren cloven, and biriels… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Burial place — Burial Bur i*al, n. [OE. buriel, buriels, grave, tomb, AS. byrgels, fr. byrgan to bury, and akin to OS. burgisli sepulcher.] 1. A grave; a tomb; a place of sepulture. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The erthe schook, and stoones weren cloven, and biriels… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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