Burying the dead has been a tradition since ancient times and is still practiced in many cultures today. Have you ever wondered why people are usually buried six feet under? The mystery behind the practice is surprisingly long, varied, and steeped in cultural and religious beliefs. In some cases, the practice dates back centuries and has been adopted by many different societies around the world. Some of the reasons for burying the dead so deeply are to protect the body from being desecrated, to prevent disease, and to honor the deceased. In addition, the burial depth can also be seen as a way to give the deceased a sense of privacy and peace, as well as a way to physically separate the living from the dead. Throughout history, the practice of burying the dead has been an important part of many societies and continues to be a significant part of funerary rites even today.
Why Are People Buried 6 Feet Under?
Burying the Dead During the Bubonic Plague
The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, is believed to have originated in China and traveled to Europe in the 14th century. From 1346 to 1353, the Plague killed an estimated 75 million people, with the majority of deaths occurring in Europe. The Bubonic Plague is caused by bacteria and is commonly associated with rats. The disease is spread when a rodent carries the bacteria and passes it on to humans through flea bites. When the bubonic plague swept through Europe, many people who had been buried alive during this time were later dug up as part-and-parcel of the burial practices of the time. It is believed that this was done to prevent the spread of the plague, as the idea was that the ground had been contaminated, making it unsuitable for a grave. Another reason why people were dug up was to make room for new burials, as it was common practice to bury several people in a single grave, which obviously meant that plenty of graves needed to be dug.
Burial practices are often rooted in religious beliefs, and one of the most common reasons why people are buried 6 feet under is to do with the ground itself. Many religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, believe that the ground is sacred and that it is thought to be impure to be buried above ground. In Christianity, the ground is believed to be the final resting place for both humans and animals, as stated in the book of Genesis. This is one of the reasons why people are buried 6 feet under, as it is thought to be a respectful distance between humans and animals. Many religions also believe that the earth is sacred and a place of rebirth, which is why they bury their loved ones 6 feet under. Burying the dead in the ground is also thought to be an act of submission to God, which is why many religions choose to bury their dead in the earth.
A Respectful Distance
As mentioned before, many religions, including Christianity, believe that the ground is sacred and that it is thought to be impure to be buried above ground. Thus, people are buried 6 feet under as it is thought to be a respectful distance between humans and animals. In many religions, the ground is believed to be the final resting place for both humans and animals, which is why many religions bury their loved ones 6 feet under. Christianity, for example, is one of the main religions that believes humans should be buried 6 feet under. The book of Genesis states that all living creatures are made from the ground, so it is believed to be an impure place. Thus, the ground is thought to be the final resting place for both humans and animals.
For the majority of human history, the dead were often buried without being cleaned or treated to prevent the spread of disease and bacteria. This changed dramatically during the Victorian era when the sight and smell of unhygienic and unclean burial practices prompted many health concerns. This led to new burial practices, such as embalming, where the dead are preserved with various fluids to prevent bodily fluids from seeping out of the body and contaminating the ground. Another health-based reason why people are buried 6 feet under is that it is thought to be the safest depth for the ground. At this depth, the ground is still soft enough for people to be buried, but it is also solid enough to prevent subsidence.
The symbolism of 6 Feet
For many people, one of the reasons why they are buried 6 feet under is that it is simply the standard and most common depth for a grave. In the past, this was the most recommended depth for a grave and was based on several factors. Firstly, shallow graves can become a health hazard due to the risk of the body decomposing and contaminating the soil, as well as the risk of graves collapsing. Another reason why people are buried 6 feet under is simply that this is how deep a spade can go before hitting the ground that is too hard to dig. Cemetery workers also recommend 6 feet for reasons of efficiency, as it is the perfect depth for a grave to be long enough for a casket to be buried 6 feet under but short enough for it to be dug quickly.
How Does The Burial Depth Protect The Body From Desecration And Disease?
- Desecration is the act of bringing shame to something or someone; it can refer to the act of insulting or dishonoring a person or a deity. As such, corpses are often considered to be “taboo” or “sacred” by many cultures.
- This could be because the deceased person is seen as part of the wider society, and deserves respect and honor. Some cultures, like the Chinese, bury the dead at a much deeper and much more respectful level – up to 9 feet. When corpses are buried deep, it makes it harder for people to access and steal their organs. Therefore, the deceased person is given the respect and protection they deserve even after their death.
- Furthermore, the soil in which the corpse is buried can sometimes be used as a barrier against diseases and germs. For example, many cultures have long believed that soil could be used to prevent the spread of diseases that can be transmitted through air or water.
How Does The Burial Depth Give The Deceased A Sense Of Privacy And Peace?
- This is probably one of the most commonly held beliefs regarding the practice of deep burial. When a person is buried 6 feet below the ground, it is not easy for others to disturb the grave.
- This gives the deceased a sense of privacy and peace, especially when compared to the alternative practice of burying bodies just a couple of feet underground. Deep burial promotes the ideal of eternal rest, with the deceased being physically separated from the living for all eternity.
- According to some cultures, the burial depth is meant to symbolize the passage from life to death, as well as the transition from the profane to the sacred. It also shows respect towards the dead and reinforces the concept that they now belong to another world.
How Does The Burial Depth Physically Separate The Living From The Dead?
- Many cultures have had taboos against disturbing the dead or desecrating corpses, especially those buried at a deep level. This practice is believed to have originated from a need to physically separate the living from the dead, who are often seen as unclean or dangerous.
- Since corpses are seen as unclean or even dangerous, they are often buried at a depth that makes it difficult to disturb them. The Chinese, for example, bury their dead at a depth of 12 feet, which was meant to keep the living away from the deceased.
- Burying the dead at a deep level is also a way for people to physically distance themselves from death and avoid thinking about it. It is often said that death is inevitable and that it happens to everyone.
- However, many people do not want to confront their own mortality so they try to ignore the concept of death by keeping the dead buried far away from their daily lives.
The practice of burying the dead six feet under has a long history, dating back thousands of years. Throughout history, the reasons behind the practice have varied and are often cultural and ceremonial in nature. Some of the most common reasons are to protect the body from being desecrated, to prevent disease, and to honor the deceased. Burying the dead six feet under is an important part of many cultures and religions, and it will likely remain so for years to come.