Surprising Facts About Funerals

By: Madison Funeral Home
Monday, August 1, 2022

It's not something you often want to think about, but funeral homes in Goodlettsville, TN have brought it to view. The way we handle our dead in the present age is primarily affected by how our forefathers and mothers treated theirs. Here are some fascinating facts about death and different types of funeral customs throughout history: 

Some Archaic Tribes' Human Bones Were Filled Out: This is known because many cut marks on the heads, limbs, and other bones of human skeletons buried during this period can be seen. During the Middle Ages, bodies that had to be moved long distances to be buried were also defleshed by taking them apart and boiling the pieces. The soft parts of the body were buried near where the person died while the bones were moved. 

Spears Were Thrown At The Dead: "Speared-corpse" burials were common in east Yorkshire during the Middle Iron Age. Spears were placed into the graves of several young men, and they appear to have been tossed with enough force to puncture the body in a couple of instances. Although it could have been a military send-off, it's unclear why this was done, similar to how modern military funerals include a 21-gun salute. 

The Romans Introduced Gravestones: The first tombstones in Britain were clustered near Roman military forts and increasingly urbanized Romano-British villages as an imported practice. Women and children were commemorated on gravestones more frequently than Roman soldiers at the time. Thus memorials to their deceased relatives legitimized their connections in death in a way that they could not in life. 

The Anglo-Saxons Preferred Urns: Cremated remains were frequently retained within the community for a long time before being buried during the early Anglo-Saxon period. We know this because urns were occasionally buried in groups. Urns were also used in the graves of the deceased, who were most usually family members. 

A Large Number Of People Shared A Coffin: Many parish churches featured community coffins throughout the medieval period, which could be rented or leased to transport deceased individuals from their homes to the churchyard. The body would be removed from the casket and buried in a modest shroud when they arrived at the graveside. 

Rosemary Was Used For More Than Just Potatoes: People in the funeral procession would typically carry rosemary sprigs and cast them onto the casket before burial, just like roses do now. And because rosemary is an evergreen plant, it has long been connected with a perpetual life. As a fragrant herb, it was frequently placed inside coffins to mask any scents emanating from the deceased. This was crucial since bodies were sometimes left in the state for days, if not weeks, before being buried while funeral arrangements were made and mourners traveled to attend the services in honoring life.

Touching A Murderer Has The Potential To Heal: It was a prevalent idea in early modern times, and at least until the mid-nineteenth century, that the touch of a murderer — killed by hanging – could cure all kinds of disorders, from cancer and goiters to skin problems. Affected individuals would attend executions in the hopes of receiving the executed prisoner's "death blow." 

Funeral homes in Goodlettsville, TN are available to offer their expertise if you need help with the cremation of a deceased loved one reach out to us now.

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