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Does anybody know offhand if bodies are buried six feet deep because it's the depth of avoidance of the smell of decay?

And in an entirely unrelated question, does anyone have a shovel?

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
mle292
Sep. 6th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
According to Ask Yahoo it's an outdated English law.
gleckia
Sep. 6th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
According to City of the Silent, "The English Parliament suspected that funeral and burial customs played a role in spreading the Black Death. In 1665, it legislated against unnecessary visits by friends and children, large funerals, and, most importantly, graves less than six feet deep."
vorrant
Sep. 6th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Pikers bury. Those in the know submerge. Properly, with chicken wire and weights.
g33kgoddess
Sep. 6th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Yup. 1665. Bury the bodies 6 feet deep to keep from spreading the disease to the living. Of course, that didn't really help because it was probably spread by fleas, anyway. Previous to this law, bodies were buried shallow and cemeteries became "littered with bones and bits of charnel", largely due to both human and animal scavengers.

Interesting note. Nowadays, with sturdy burial vaults, 6 feet is no longer the rule. Some UK town only dictate 30 inches of soil on top of a coffin. In California you need 18 inches of dirt and turf. From what I researched, burial plots are now usually dug about 4 feet deep to accomodate vault and covering soil.

So... to answer your first question, if you're burying a corpse sans box, you'd be best to bury it deep, if you don't want Rover digging it up or the smell to carry. To answer your second question, yes, I have a shovel, but I need it for digging my own shallo... um... flower beds.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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