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One important and obvious realization when
thinking about death is that death is inevitable.
The time death will come is uncertain, but that
it will arrive is irrefutable.
Human bodies cannot withstand all the ravages of
accidents, disease, and/or old age. Bodies wear
out people die.
Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but
death and taxes.

Bereavement refers to the state of loss.
Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss.
Although conventionally focused on the emotional
response to loss, it also has physical,
cognitive, behavioral, social and philosophical
Human beings express a wide variety of grief
responses. These are influenced by personality,
family, culture, spiritual, and religious beliefs
and practices. This lesson focuses on the
beliefs, customs, and practices related to death,
primarily in mainstream America.
Mourning is synonymous with grief over the death
of someone. It describes a cultural complex of
behaviors in which the bereaved participate or
are expected to participate. While customs vary
between different cultures and evolve over time,
many core behaviors remain constant.
Using euphemisms, metaphors, and slang terms
instead of death and dying terms is sometimes
desirable in helping with the healing process.
This alternative language can sometimes be
amusing and/or distancing.
Pushing up daisies, the big sleep, off to the
happy hunting grounds, dead as a
mackerel/doornail, going home, shuffling off to
Buffalo, bought the farm, cashed in, checked out,
croaked, curtains, crossed over, drop dead,
departed, dust to dust, eternal rest, expired,
give up the ghost, kick the bucket, last breath,
the hour has come, the race is run, the days are
numbered, on the heavenly shores, passed away,
passed on, perished, resting in peace, rubbed
out, succumbed, six feet under, terminated,
thats all she wrote, give up the ghost, done in,
withered away, etc.
It is very difficult for parents to talk to
children about death and dying, because it is the
ultimate loss of control.
Some parents prepare children for death using
nature as the tool. Dying leaves in the fall or
the death of a pet might introduce the child to
death. Parents that allow the child time to
experience the loss of a pet, without softening
the blow by immediately buying another animal,
may be preparing their child for future losses.
Be honest. Its scary to know the truth, but its
scarier if you dont know. Parents cant fix
everything. People cant always be happy.
Who Killed Cock Robin is a nursery rhyme
beginning Who killed Cock Robin? I, said the
Sparrow, with my bow and arrow, I killed Cock
Technology has brought real and fictional On TV,
children see people killed, who then show back up
in another episode a day later, creating
confusion or an illusion.
Probably the most well-known theory on the stages
of grief might be from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross'
1969 book, "On Death and Dying."
Since the time of that publication, todays
psychologists generally agree that those
reactions are experienced in response to any
loss, including the loss of life of a loved
one. The 5 stages of grief have been revised to
include at least 7 responses
- Shock (or Disbelief)- Denial- Anger-
Bargaining- Guilt- Depression- Acceptance
STAGE 1 SHOCK -serves to prevent feelings of
being overwhelmed, allow time for integration and
processing of event at first
Individual stages are not necessarily experienced
in order, or at all.
  • no, it cant be this cant happen, I dont
    believe it
  • -against those who caused the death
  • -against the government who didn't do more to
    protect citizens -against God for allowing it to
    happen-against the dead for not doing more to
    save themselves (though it seems
    irrational)-against self (feelings of guilt)

STAGE 4 BARGAINING -I promise Ill do better
if only Take me instead
STAGE 5 GUILT -feelings of survivor
guilt "Why should I still be alive and theyre
not? or If only I had done more
STAGE 6 DEPRESSION -inability to
cope emotionally physical
reactions (nausea, head or stomach aches,
nausea, loss of appetite)
experienced as intense
feelings of loss and
sadness that may last weeks,
months, or years. STAGE 7 ACCEPTANCE
-Finding inner strength through
listening to each other,
support groups, family moving toward
integration of the experience
into one's memory hope

  • With 17 people dying every day in the United
    States for lack of an organ transplant, more and
    more people are considering the possibility of
    donating organs - or even their entire bodies -
    after death.
  • With advances in medical science, its now
    possible to donate
  • Organs (before and after death)
  • Tissue (including skin, bone, corneas, heart
    valves, blood vessels and tendons)
  • Bone marrow (before and after death)
  • Your entire body, for medical research

Under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 1984,
its illegal to sell or buy- human organs or
bodies. Anyone violating this law can be fined
and/or sent to jail. Available transplant organs
are gifted according to many factors, including
Location of the donor and recipient Severity
of illness Physical characteristics like blood
type, size, and genetic makeup Factors like
wealth or celebrity status are not considered
 The whole body donation program for the state of
Nebraska is handled by the Nebraska Anatomical
Board.Enrollment in the program is required on
record before death. Donors may designate the
recipient of their choice University of
Nebraska, Creighton University, or Nebraska
Anatomical Board-unspecified
Many bodies are rejected, including those of
minors under 18 years old unless a deed form is
co-signed by parents or legal guardian bodies
that have undergone extensive autopsies, trauma,
highly contagious disease, excessive obesity, or
emaciation and bodies of persons whose families
object. After cadavers are used for at least 2
years, the cremains (cremated remains) can be
returned to the family for final disposition, if
You can note your desire to be an organ donor on
your drivers license.
An autopsy, also known as a post-mortem
examination, is a medical procedure that
consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to
determine the cause and manner of death and to
evaluate any disease or injury that may be
present. It is usually performed by a specialized
medical doctor called a pathologist.
The principal aim of an autopsy is to discover
the cause of death, to determine the state of
health of the person before he or she died, and
whether any medical diagnosis and treatment
before death was appropriate.
Forensic Autopsy Done for legal purposes takes
several days to weeks to complete no family
permission is required used to determine the
cause of death Natural, Accident, Homicide,
Suicide, Undetermined
Y-incision for abdominal cavity
Clinical Autopsy Usually performed in hospitals
to determine a cause of death for research and
study purposes. Permission from legal next of kin
is required. Coroner's Autopsy The county
medical examiner/ coroner may require an autopsy
for any purpose, including practice, in the
states interest. No permission of the family is
Incision from ear to ear on back of scalp scalp
peeled forward over face and skull opened to
inspect brain
A death certificate is a document issued by a
government official such as a registrar of vital
statistics, and declares the date, location and
cause of a person's death.
Before issuing a death certificate, the
authorities usually require a certificate from a
physician or coroner to validate the cause of
death and the identity of the deceased.
  • Purposes of the certificate
  • review the cause of death to determine if
    foul-play occurred

  • may also be required in order to arrange a
  • to prove a person's will
  • to file a claim on a person's life insurance

Embalming is the art and science of temporarily
preserving human remains to delay decomposition
and make it suitable for display at a funeral if
desired. The three goals of embalming are
preservation, sanitization, and presentation (or
restoration) of a dead body. Most states require
embalming, refrigeration, or burial within 24
hours after death (except for religious
After death has been determined by the physician
or coroner, it is verified by 1. rigor mortis
a change in the muscles after death that
causes a stiffness in the limbs

lividity a settling of the blood in the lower
portion of the body, causing a purplish red
discoloration of the skin
The mortician (funeral director) or embalmer,
following the familys direction, transports the
deceased to the mortuary (funeral home). The
identity of the deceased is verified, and the
corpse is washed and disinfected with germicidal
solutions. The embalmer bends , flexes, and
massages the arms and legs to relieve rigor
The human body begins to dehydrate after a person
dies. Because the skin is so dry, it "pulls away
from nails and hair." This makes it appear as
though the nails and hair are growing, but in
fact, it's really the opposite. The body is
shrinking. Moisturizer can be applied to help
with a more natural appearance to the skin.
The process of closing the mouth, eyes, shaving,
etc is collectively known as setting the
features. The eyes are closed and kept closed
with an eye cap under the lid that keeps them
shut and in the proper expression, or with
adhesive. The mouth may be closed via suturing,
using an adhesive, wire, or other specialized
device. Care is taken to make the expression look
as relaxed and natural as possible. Ideally, a
recent photograph of the deceased while still
living is used as a guide.
An embalmer has passed a National Board
Examination and Licensing procedure, and has
completed a study in anatomy, chemistry, and
mortuary science. Immediate family members only
have rights to view or assist with body
The actual embalming process usually involves
four parts 1. Arterial embalming - draining
blood and displacing it with chemicals (using the
gravity of a slanted table and a pump) 2.
Cavity embalming suctioning internal fluids
from a small abdominal incision, puncturing
hollow organs, and filling the cavities with
chemicals 3. Hypodermic embalming injecting
embalming chemicals under the skin 4. Surface
embalming supplements other methods and
includes the restoration of injured body parts
with modeling wax
Embalming chemicals are a variety of
preservatives, sanitizing, and disinfectant
agents and additives used to temporarily prevent
decomposition and restore a natural appearance
for viewing a body after death. Typical embalming
fluid contains a mixture of formaldehyde,
methanol, ethanol, and other solvents. The fluids
are or can be colored to restore a more life-like
While embalmers hope to create a somewhat
life-like appearance of the corpse, the goal is
not to truly make the person appear alive. This
would prolong denial. Family and friends may
view the body and remark he doesnt look
natural. No, the corpse does not look natural.
The person is no longer alive.
After embalming, the body may once again be
washed and dried. Moisturizing creams may be
applied, as well as lightly-fragranced powders.
The body is dressed. Wax may be used to repair
damaged areas of the body.
The family usually selects the clothes for the
deceased. Makeup is used on both men and women,
designed to add depth and dimension to a person's
features that the lack of blood circulation has
The embalmer may fix the hair and add makeup, or
trained cosmetologists may be hired for this
purpose. Once again, a recent photo of the
deceased may be helpful. Using the exact makeup,
nail polish, and hair style of the deceased prior
to death might be possible.
Cremation is the practice of disposing of a human
corpse by burning. A body to be cremated is first
placed in a container for cremation, (regular
casket, a simple corrugated cardboard box, a
plain wooden box, or a special liner from a
rented casket, and then placed in the
The chamber where the body is placed is called
the retort, which incinerates the body at 1400
2100 F. During the process, flesh, organs, and
other soft tissue is vaporized and oxidized due
to the heat, and gases are discharged through the
exhaust system. The entire process usually takes
about two hours. Larger bone pieces are put into
a machine, grinding them into finer fragments
resembling wood-ash in appearance.

Cremated remains are returned to the funeral
home/ next of kin in a plastic container in a
cardboard box or velvet sack, along with an
official cremation certificate. Some families
bury cremains, while others keep them in their
homes. There are environmental concerns with
spreading the cremains elsewhere. How about
setting them aloft in a helium balloon, or shoot
them up in fireworks, or have them made into a
manmade diamond, added to a manmade coral reef,
or carry them in a locket?
A columbarium is a special wall or entombment
facility with small niches for cremains. Some
people prefer cremation to slow decomposition of
the body. Some prefer it because of cost,
simplicity, and environmental concerns.
A funeral director may or may not be a qualified
embalmer. The funeral director, or mortician,
runs the mortuary business. They manage and
maintain the funeral home (mortuary). They
counsel and work together directly with the
families or next of kin in regard to the conduct
of the funeral service and disposition of the
In the 1800s the local funeral director, once
known as an undertaker, typically operated a
furniture store and built caskets too. Today, the
manufacture and sale of coffins, caskets, and
urns is a separate industry.
COFFIN 8 sides
Full couch lid is one piece
Casket 6 sides
Receptacles for burial can be purchased or rented
(used for viewing only or a funeral service prior
to cremation or body donation). The cost of the
receptacle is usually the most expensive portion
of the total funeral cost.
Considerations in Purchasing a Casket Lumber or
metal costs Bronze, copper, stainless steel (in
various gauges or thicknesses, and wood
(mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, ash,
poplar, pine, and wood veneers). Thickness and
type of metal or wood Exterior shell design
Corner design Finish brushed, glossy, satin
finishes Interiors velvets, crepes, satins
Hardware such as bed frame, raising, lowering,
and tilting mechanisms, locks Gasket seals Jewish
Orthodox requirements (must be fully
biodegradeable and have holes drilled in the
bottom to hasten decomposition)
The National Funeral Directors Association
estimates the average cost of a funeral in the
United States as of July 2004, is 6,500, not
including burial cost. Social Security allows a
benefit of 250.  
The cost of the funeral is dependent upon the
services used and the merchandise selected. There
are three places where expenses are incurred
1. Professional Services (embalming,
printing obituaries, the hearse) 2. Merchandise
selected (casket, vault, urn) 3. Cash Advance
Items. Cash advance items are items that the
funeral director pays for on a family's behalf,
that are not directly their services.  These
items include clergy honorarium, music
honorarium, grave opening, flowers, lunch, and
monument work
Pre-planned and pre-paid funerals do 3 things
1. Locks in pre-inflationary prices
2. Removes the burden of funeral
planning for relatives at a time when their
judgment may be impaired
3. The funeral preferences
of the deceased can be carried out without
Families that feel any sense of guilt about the
death tend to be emotionally over-loaded and make
decisions about funeral costs that they really
cant afford.
Prior to many funerals, a viewing or
visitation is held. Family and friends use this
ritual with an open casket to realize the death
and deal with grief. During the viewing,
pink-colored lighting is sometimes used near the
body to lend a warmer tone to the deceased's
A closed casket may be desired (lid is closed),
especially if the body was damaged.
For Irish descendants or others, a wake usually
lasts 3 full days. On the day after the wake the
funeral takes place. Family members and friends
will ensure that there is always someone awake
with the body, traditionally saying prayers.
Some cultures and religions consider the sending
of flowers, embalming, or viewing of the body as
A funeral may take place at either a funeral home
or church, usually 3-5 days after the death of
the deceased. During the funeral and at the
burial service, the casket may be covered with a
large arrangement of flowers, called a casket
Funeral services may be conducted by the funeral
director or clergy. They may include prayers,
readings from the Bible or other sacred texts
hymns sung by the attendees or a hired vocalist
and words of comfort by the clergy. A funeral
service provides a place for family and friends
to gather for support and to reminisce an
opportunity to celebrate the life and
accomplishments of a loved one a chance to say
goodbye and the focal point from which the
healing process can begin.
If the decedent served in a branch of the Armed
forces, the casket may be covered with a national
flag however nothing should cover the national
flag. Use of the flag for funerals is governed by
The funeral identifies that a person's life has
been lived, not that a death has occurred. It is
also important to notify the community that this
person has died. There are people beyond the
immediate family who have the right to grieve a
A eulogy is a speech or writing in tribute to a
person or people who have recently died. Eulogies
should not be confused with elegies, which are
poems written in tribute to the dead nor with
obituaries, which are published biographies
recounting the lives of those who have recently
died nor with obsequies, which refer generally
to the rituals surrounding funerals.
In the United States, black is generally
considered the color of mourning. At a time like
this, it is considered improper by some to draw
attention to yourself by wearing bright colors.
In some Asian cultures, white is the color of
White flowers from the lily family are
traditional flowers for funerals.
Memorial gifts are sometimes given to the family.
These might include food or flowers, or money.
Money may aid the family or be designated by the
family for a special cause. Example Memorial
money given at the funeral of a person who
suffered from Alzheimers Disease prior to death
might be designated for research for a cure for
Alzheimers money given to the family of a
deceased young father might be designated for his
childrens college education.
The memorial service is a service given for the
deceased without the body present. This may take
place before or after a burial, donation of the
body to science, cremation (sometimes the
cremains are present), or burial at sea.
Typically these services take place at the
funeral home and may include prayers, poems, or
songs to remember the deceased. Pictures of the
deceased are usually placed at the altar where
the body would normally be to pay respects by. A
memorial service is appropriate when bodies
cannot be recovered and identified after mass
tragedies or war-time.
Funerals and memorial services are in memory of
the deadbut they are FOR the living.
Burial, also called interment, is the act of
placing a body into the ground. After death, a
corpse will start to decay and emit unpleasant
odors due to gases released by bacterial
decomposition. Burial prevents the living from
having to see and smell the decomposing corpse.
Jewelry may be removed just prior to the casket
being closed for the final time. This discourages
the idea of grave robbing for artifacts.
In many religious traditions, the pall or
body-in-a-casket is carried by 6-8 relatives such
as cousins, nephews, grandchildren or friends of
the decedent called pallbearers.
A burial service may be conducted immediately
following the funeral, beginning with a
procession. The large car transporting the pall,
the hearse, is followed by the immediate family
and then the other attendees, and travels to the
burial site.
In some military funerals, a caisson (wagon
carrying artillery ammunition) may be used to
transport the casket.
A unique funeral tradition in the United States
is the New Orleans Jazz Funeral arising from
African-American spiritual and French musical
traditions. A typical jazz funeral begins with a
march by the family, friends, and a jazz band
from the home or funeral to the cemetery, while a
band plays somber dirges. Once the final ceremony
has taken place, the solemn music is replaced by
loud, upbeat music and dancing. The New Orleans
dance known as the second line" is where
celebrants do a dance-march, while raising the
hats and umbrellas and waving handkerchiefs above
the head that are no longer being used to wipe
away tears.
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and
cremains are buried. The term cemetery, from the
Greek meaning sleeping place, implies that the
land is specifically designated as a burying
Some Christians wish to be buried in consecrated
ground," usually a cemetery in or near the
churchhence the word churchyard or graveyard.
Graves near the Gulf of Mexico are above-ground
due to the high water tables.
Body positioning Burials may be placed in a
number of different positions. Christian burials
are made extended, lying flat with arms and legs
straight, or with the arms folded upon the chest,
and with the eyes and mouth closed. Other
practices place the body on its side in a flexed
position with the legs folded up to the chest.
Warriors in some ancient societies were buried in
an upright position. In Islam, the head is
pointed toward and the face is turned toward
Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.
Casket Orientation Historically, Christian
burials were made supine east-west, with the head
at the western end of the graveto view the
coming of Christ on Judgment Day.
A growing trend in the U.S. is a natural burial,
used in protecting and restoring the natural
environment. With a natural burial, the body is
returned to nature in a biodegradable coffin or
shroud (winding, sheet-like burial garment).
Native vegetation or memorial trees are often
planted over or near the grave in place of a
conventional cemetery monument. The resulting
green space establishes a living memorial and
forms a protected wildlife preserve.
Natural burial grounds are also known as woodland
cemeteries, eco-cemeteries, memorial nature
preserves, or green burial grounds.
A potters field is a county- owned piece of
land for burying the unknown and indigent.
A burial vault is a protective outer container
for a casket. One of those or a simpler concrete
container called a graveliner may be required by
some cemeteries to keep the ground from settling
and preserve the beauty and ease the maintenance
of the memorial park or cemetery.
While basic concrete offers no protection from
outside elements, the reinforced vault has a
synthetic material or metal applied to the
concrete to improve the integrity and strength.
Stainless steel, bronze, and copper are common
metals for these.
If the decedent served in a branch of the Armed
Forces, military rites are often provided at the
burial service by representatives of the Armed
Forces or Veterans organizations such as the
American Legion.
Military rites include a gun salute, the playing
of Taps (Army bugle call at the end of the day),
and the presentation of the folded casket flag to
the surviving widow or family member. The
military also provides a monument to mark the
grave if desired.
Others in uniform, such as firefighters and
police officers are honored with special funeral
At a police officer's or firefighter's funeral,
the bagpipes are often played.
A foot procession of department members in full
dress uniforms follow fire trucks bearing the
caskets of fallen firefighters. The fire trucks
pass under an arch of the raised aerial ladders
and suspended flags.
A mausoleum is a free-standing building
constructed as a monument enclosing the burial
chamber of a deceased person or persons. A
mausoleum may be temporarily locked or
permanently sealed it encloses a burial chamber
either wholly above ground or within a burial
vault below the superstructure.
The pyramids of ancient Egypt are also types of
tomb, each housing one or more mummies. A mummy
is a corpse whose skin and dried flesh have been
preserved by exposure to chemicals, extreme cold,
very low humidity, or airlessness. They are
wrapped in a shroud and buried with possessions.
Crypts are stone or brick-lined underground
spaces or 'burial' chambers for the interment of
a dead body or bodies. They often have vaulted
ceilings and stone slab entrances. They are often
privately owned and used for specific family or
other groups.
They are often found beneath public religious
buildings, in cemeteries, beneath mausolea, or in
churchyards. The poet Edgar Allen Poe wrote of
Catacombs are a network of underground burial
galleries, such as caves, grottos, or
subterranean places.
Burial at sea means the deliberate disposal of a
corpse into the ocean, weighted to make sure it
sinks. Two reasons for burial at sea are if the
deceased died while at sea and it is impractical
to return the remains to shore, or if the
deceased died on land but a burial at sea is
requested for private or cultural reasons.
Legally, a Captain can bury remains at sea,
provided that environmental regulations and
dumping laws are satisfied. In the United States,
ashes have to be scattered at least 3 miles from
shore bodies can be given to the sea if the
location is at least 600 feet (200 m) deep.
Special regulations may also apply to the urns
and coffins
Mass burial is the practice of burying multiple
bodies in one location. This may be the only
practical means of dealing with an overwhelming
number of human remains, such as those resulting
from a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, an
epidemic, or an accident.
  • Some married couples, family members, or groups
    of people may wish to be buried in the same plot.
    Two reasons for this
  • 1. cost-effective and
  • saves space in cemeteries

Coffins can be buried standing on end, with
several coffins in one plot. Caskets may also be
interred one above another. The first casket is
buried deeper than the traditional 6 feet, and
the second casket is buried on top with only a
thin layer of dirt in-between.
In many traditions, a meal or other gathering
follows the burial service, either at the
decedent's home, fellowship hall at their place
of worship, or other off-site location. This
provides a time to reminisce and grieve and
provide comfort.
A headstone, gravestone, tombstone, or monument
is a marker used to identify the resting place of
the deceased. They can also offer genealogical
information. Materials commonly found in
cemeteries are aluminum, bronze, granite,
marble, field stones, and zinc. Each material has
features and benefits that are unique to the
properties of the metal or stonework being
Those of Jewish faith visiting graves might
leave a small stone at the graveside. This shows
that someone has visited, represents permanence,
and is a way of tending the grave.
Poor John Gray, here he lies,No one laughs, and
no one cries,Where he's gone, and how he
fares,No one knows, and no one cares.
An epitaph is text honoring the deceased, most
commonly inscribed on a tombstone or plaque.
Quoth the Raven,"Nevermore."
The Best is yet to come.
Mine today, yours tomorrow
Stranger by the roadside, do not smileWhen you
see this grave, though it is only a dog's,My
master wept when I died, and his own handLaid me
in earth and wrote these lines on my tomb.
Here Lies Lester Moore,Four Slugs From A .44,No
Les, No More
Rest in Peace.
That's all folks!
Step softly, a dream lies buried here.
I told you I was ill.
Never Born, Never DiedOnly visited this planet
Earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19,
He beat her 189 times. She only got flowers once.
Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one's
own life.
Views on suicide have been largely shaped by
cultural views on existential themes such as
religion, honor, and the meaning of life. Most
religions consider suicide a dishonorable or
sinful act some societies consider it a crime.
In some Asian cultures it has been considered an
honorable way to atone for past mistakes or an
acceptable military strategy. Assisted suicide,
euthanasia, is a controversial ethical issue
related to people who are terminally ill, in
extreme pain, and/or have minimal quality of life
through illness. Self-sacrifice for others is
not usually considered suicide.
The predominant view in modern medicine is of
suicide as a mental health concern.
Many countries have buried an unidentified
soldier (or other member of the military) in a
prominent location as a form of respect for all
unidentified war dead. In the United States, the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at
Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
The Tomb contains remains of unknown U.S.
soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean
Conflict and Vietnam War. Each was presented with
the Medal of Honor at the time of interment and
the medals and flags which covered their caskets,
are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater,
directly to the rear of the Tomb. The Tomb is
guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by
specially trained members of the 3rd United
States Infantry (The Old Guard).
"Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God"
The afterlife, or life after death, is a generic
term referring to a "continuation" of existence,
typically spiritual, experiential, or ghost-like,
beyond this world, or after physical death. The
major views in this area derive from religion,
metaphysics, and science.
The soul, according to many religious and
philosophical traditions, is the true essence
unique to a particular living being. Souls are
often considered immortal, and exist before birth
and after death. Many different views exist
regarding the soul.
Some see the soul as immaterial, while others
consider it to possibly have a material
component, and some have even tried to establish
the mass or weight of the soul.
Reincarnation means to be made flesh again. It
is a belief that some essential part of a living
being survives death to be reborn in a new body.
According to such beliefs, a new personality is
developed during each life in the physical world,
but some part of the being remains constantly
present throughout these successive lives as
The idea that the soul (of any living being -
including animals, humans and plants)
reincarnates is intricately linked to karma the
cumulative sum of a persons existence.
Socrates, Pythagoras, and Plato were ancient
Greeks that taught about reincarnation.
Reincarnation is widely believed in Eastern
religions and Native American Indians. Some
cultures believe only in the reincarnation of
human beings.
Archaeology (archeology) is the study of human
cultures through the recovery, documentation and
analysis of material remains and environmental
data, including architecture, artifacts, human
remains, and landscapes.
Archaeology is the branch of Anthropology that
studies the material remains of past cultures in
order to describe or explain human behavior.  
In Greek mythology, Hades was a god who ruled his
land of the dead located beneath the surface of
the earth.
The Styx was the best-known river in Hades. To
cross it, a soul had to be ferried by Charon, a
boatman. He demanded payment, so the Greeks
placed coins in the mouths of their dead or on
their eyes before burying them.
In some cultures they placed silver coins on the
eyes of the dead to keep them closed, because if
the eyes remained open, we would see our own
death captured in their eyes.
Another word for burial or interment is
inhumation. Therefore, retrieving the body from
the grave is called exhumation or disinterration .
Although frowned on by most cultures, some good
reasons exist to exhume a body
  1. To determine cause of death under suspicious
  2. So survivors can rebury those that have recently
    been identified
  3. So remains can be reinterred at a more
    appropriate location (such as when moving a

4. To obtain the answers to certain historical