A Look Back at the History of Cremation

Cemetery Tucson

Cremation has a much longer history than many people imagine. The practice dates back to the Stone Age and has been popular in different forms in different civilizations ever since. Today, people of many faiths and backgrounds choose cremation, and many families opt for shared cremation memorials over shared family burial plots. Here is a closer look at the long history of cremation.

Ancient Cremation
Most historians estimate that cremation started around 3000 B.C. in the Stone Age in Europe and the Near East, based on urns recovered from that time period. By around 1000 B.C, cremation moved in the British Isles, Ireland, and Northern Europe. There is evidence that cremation cemeteries were present in modern-day Hungary and Italy during this time. Both Greek and Roman civilizations heavily embraced cremation, even as early Christians and Jews objected to the practice. However, the Christianization of the European Empire under Constantine around 400 A.D. led to a decline in the popularity of cremation for a period of several centuries, except when necessary because of war or illness.

Return to Popularity
In the late 1800s, cremation’s popularity rebounded significantly, thanks to the development of a cremation chamber and an increased understanding of the health risks associated with improper burials. During this time period, cremation became popular throughout Europe and across North America.

Modern Cremation
Today, cremation is popular in most parts of the world. It is accepted by many faiths and embraced by people for a number of different reasons, from cost to a desire to be eco-friendly. Choosing cremation does not mean that you can’t have a funeral service or memorial ceremony—in many cases, such a service is still held.

If you have questions about cremation, call Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery. We can explain your options for cremation and how to incorporate it in the kind of funeral service in Tucson that you hope to have. To learn more, call (520) 888-7470.