By Bronwyn Carlton, Carlton Bronwyn
During this advisor to 1 of society''s final taboo s, Carlton offers stories of outdated equipment of execution, capital punishment, visits to well-known cemetaries, physique dispos al, bizarre deaths and silly murders. '
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Extra info for The Big Book of Death
The efficiency of cremation was generally high, with open pyres achieving temperatures commensurate with those of modern crematoria at 800–1000°C, and consequenty, most of the bone from the majority of burials from all periods is fully oxidized. Consistently less well oxidized bone has been observed in the Roman period, particularly amongst the poorer burials in some of the town cemeteries, which are also the locations where the only evidence of partial cremation has been found. Unlike in earlier and subsequent periods, and in the rural Roman cemeteries where the cremation was probably organized and carried out by relatives or designated individuals within the community, cremation in the towns is likely to have been undertaken by professionals (see Romans).
Nevertheless, inurned cremations are most common although they are found only very rarely at Lefkandi, where in some cases burials were left on the pyre and in others a token amount of the cremated bones was put in a pit or cist, with unburnt gravegoods. 1000–950 BC), while horse sacrifices were placed in an adjoining pit. This represents the nearest that reality is likely to come to the burial of Patroclus described in the Iliad, Book 23. The history of cremation in Greece after approximately 700 BCE shows that many of the communities that had practised it more or less throughout the Early Iron Age continued to do so; but it did not spread to new regions, although it appeared in some colonies, and practice continued to vary.
It was quite common for goods to be burnt with the body on the pyre, but they might also be placed, unburnt, within the grave. Cremations were normally single, but the remains of two individuals can sometimes be found in the same container (Musgrave, 1990: 285). Second, in the early stages, cremations were frequently found in multiple-burial tombs or in cemeteries of single burials, alongside inhumations, with the preferences for various sites changing markedly over time and those fluctuations being particularly notable at Athens.