burial

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The 'Urban Death Project' Wants to Turn You Into Soil

It's called 'recomposition'

(Newser) - While the "Urban Death Project" may sound like the title of Hollywood's latest horror film, it's something else entirely—though perhaps not less macabre. It's a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has a novel idea when it comes to making burials greener: composting human remains. It calls... More »

This Might Replace Burial or Cremation

The body is dissolved by a process called alkaline hydrolysis

(Newser) - A main question for those planning the funerals of themselves or loved ones is pretty basic: Cremation or burial? But a feature at Wired explains that a third choice might become the norm in the not-too-distant future: dissolution. OK, the actual term is still in play, but it refers to... More »

Life After Death? Maybe as a Tree

Barcelona brothers say Bio Urns solve a host of burial problems

(Newser) - Whether you want to be buried or cremated, critics see two major problems with our modern burial process: We're running out of space for our billions of remains, and we're polluting the planet in the process. Inhabitat , for instance, calls modern burial downright "toxic." But a... More »

In Medieval England, Villagers Chopped Up Their Dead

Scientists think they feared a sort of zombie uprising

(Newser) - We humans can be a superstitious lot, and scientists are revealing yet another example of the extremes we'll go to in the fight to keep evil and danger at bay. In this case, experts report in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports that human bones excavated in 1963 and... More »

The Industrious Badger Can Bury an Entire Cow

Footage reminds scientists how little we know about badgers

(Newser) - This may not surprise those familiar with the decidedly NSFW honey badger : When a group of biologists at the University of Utah set out to study the behaviors of scavengers in the Great Basin Desert, they scattered the carcasses of seven calves in Utah's Grassy Mountains and figured their... More »

Woman Found Buried With Husband's Heart on Her Coffin

In a 'phenomenon that had until now not been noted'

(Newser) - Love never fails, and now researchers say they've discovered a burial ritual ostensibly designed to allow a couple's love to persist forever. Reporting in the journal PLOS One , they say that French noblewoman Louise de Quengo, who died at the age of 65 in 1656, was buried in... More »

When Vet's Body Went Unclaimed, Strangers Stepped In

Lawrence Kays will get full military funeral on Friday

(Newser) - When US Army veteran Lawrence Kays died of heart disease at Christus St. Vincent Hospital in Sante Fe on Nov. 16 at age 78, there were no family members gathered around him. Nor have any turned up to claim his body in the months since. Indeed, Kays' body sat at... More »

Hero King's Unknown Face Now Revealed

Two versions, one with leprosy and one without, attempt to show us the leader

(Newser) - Robert the Bruce, King of Scots from 1306 until his death in 1329 and perhaps most famous for defeating the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn, has been dead some 700 years, but we're just now getting a good idea of what he might have looked like. Without... More »

Leonard Cohen Now Rests 'Exactly as He'd Asked'

He was laid to rest before we even knew he died

(Newser) - Leonard Cohen now rests among his kinsmen, "exactly as he'd asked," wrote son Adam Cohen in a Facebook post late Saturday night. "My sister and I just buried my father in Montreal. With only immediate family and a few lifelong friends present, he was lowered into... More »

In Ancient Grave, 13 Well-Kept Pot Plants

Man was buried with them about 2.5K years ago

(Newser) - You probably wouldn't want to smoke the stuff, but archaeologists have discovered the most well-preserved cannabis plants one could hope for in an ancient Chinese burial. The first discovery of its kind comes from the grave of a man aged about 35—possibly a shaman, reports Discover —buried... More »

A Family's Challenge of a 'Natural Burial'

You'll need proper permits, and dry ice

(Newser) - When Jake Seniuk of Washington state died of cancer, his wishes were clear: He wanted a simple, natural burial in keeping with the way he lived his life. His family not only complied but worked with Seniuk to plan the particulars before he died, writes Katie Herzog at Grist . But... More »

How Villagers Buried Bodies to Ward Off 'Demons'

Experts revisit case of skeletons buried with sickles

(Newser) - Want to keep a demon-skeleton from haunting your rural settlement? Just bury it with a sickle at its throat. That's what researchers are saying about four skeletons from the 17th and 18th centuries found buried with iron sickles around their necks in a Polish cemetery, Discovery reports. Writing in... More »

Fear of Zombies Stretches Back to Ancient Greece

In some cases, stones were placed on dead to keep them from roaming

(Newser) - The walking dead roamed ancient imaginations long before they found their way to your television , and the concept was far less fringe in ancient times. So say researchers inspecting 2,905 burials at the Greek colony of Kamarina in southeastern Sicily. Writing in the journal Popular Archaeology , University of Pittsburgh... More »

Court: Coroners Don't Have to Return Bodies With All Their Parts

Parents buried son, learned of brain in a jar months later

(Newser) - Families who bury loved ones whose body has been looked at by a medical examiner may not be burying their whole bodies. And New York's highest court ruled yesterday that it's OK. The unusual case involves the death of 17-year-old Jesse Shipley of New York City in a... More »

Why Ancient People Cut Flesh Off the Dead

Researchers find telling cut marks on prehistoric bones

(Newser) - Farmers living in Italy thousands of years ago had a special relationship with their dead that involved "defleshing" the bones and leaving them in a murky cave, according to a recent study . Researchers gleaned this by looking at bones from 22 Neolithic humans discovered in Scaloria Cave on Italy'... More »

The Issues With Burying the French Terrorists in France

French law allows local burials, but officials don't want fanatics visiting graves

(Newser) - It's been a week since French gunmen Cherif Kouachi, Said Kouachi, and Amedy Coulibaly were killed , but their bodies remain unburied, probably somewhere in a Paris morgue, the New York Times reports. French law allows for local burial, though an official family request must be made to the mayor... More »

'This Is Not How We Wanted to Welcome You to Israel'

4 victims of Paris terror attack buried in Jerusalem

(Newser) - "I am Charlie, I am Jewish, I am Israeli, I am French, I'm fed up." This was just one of the signs visible at a Jerusalem cemetery this morning as Israelis gathered to mourn four French Jews killed in last week's Paris terror attacks, the New ... More »

Buried Face-Down, 'Witch Girl' Stumps Italy

13-year-old was apparently ostracized, but buried in privileged area

(Newser) - A 13-year-old girl apparently died peacefully, but the recent discovery of her undated remains in Italy is raising eyebrows. She was buried face-down—a sign that the person was in some way feared or rejected—and she's being dubbed the "witch girl" as a result. "The prone... More »

Men Move Family Ashes, Are Charged With Abusing Corpse

'We just thought we had a right': Kevin Lewis

(Newser) - Kevin Lewis thought it was no big deal when he and a couple of relatives unearthed the ashes of his father and brother in Standish, Maine, and reburied them about 10 miles down the road in Limington. "We just thought we had a right," Lewis tells the Portland ... More »

Casey Kasem to Be Buried ... in Norway

Wife sending body to Oslo for burial over kids' objections

(Newser) - It looks like Casey Kasem will finally be laid to rest , though in a head-scratcher of a location—Norway. A newspaper there reports that wife Jean Kasem is shipping the DJ's remains to Oslo for burial, according to the Hollywood Reporter and the BBC . Does Kasem have Norwegian roots?... More »

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