How Our Ancestors Buried Their Dead

Before the proper and orderly funeral services Singapore used to bury their dead during the British rule in accordance to their own Chinese death rites and ran their own cemeteries.

In today's modern world, traditional rites of ancient civilizations from the farthest parts of the world are no longer practiced but have not been forgotten. Back then, funeral services were in demand to carry out the necessary rites. The ancestors from the oldest civilizations, such as the Egyptians and Romans, had unique and interesting ceremonies to bury their deceased.

1. Scandinavia

Vikings, known for their sea expeditions and skill in combat, had the most dramatic and expensive burial ceremonies. They built and prepared a dragon ship (which they burn in the end) where they laid down the dead body and include the person's possessions. For the men, weapons were placed in the boat while for women, their jewelry. When noblemen or great warriors died, their slave woman or mistress would be joining them in the afterlife. The woman would be "passed around" from one man to the next and afterwards strangle her and lay her body down next to the body. Vikings would make love to the woman so she can tell the deceased how much he was loved by the people. Instead of mourning, Scandinavians celebrated death instead of mourning through feasts. They ate and dined all night long. It was a celebration since they believed it to be the way to Valhalla to join their god, Odin.

2. Egypt

The ancient Egyptians performed elaborate funerary rituals and built pyramids to serve as tombs for their dead. Their customs included mummification, spells, and offerings. For the poor, graves were dug in the sand where they can be buried. Sand graves later evolved into small mud brick structures. Mummification was an important part of their custom because the process of preserving the body meant the departed could live in the afterlife. The process involves draining the body, removing the internal organs, taking out the brain and embalming it with natron. It was an intricate process made available to anyone who can afford it.

3. Rome

The Romans had the option to either bury or burn their dead although the latter was the preferred custom. Cremation was norm while burial and embalming was often viewed as a foreign practice. Prior to the burial or cremation, the Romans would clean and wash the body, dressed in the finest garments, and laid out on a couch. A coin, which they believe serve as payment to Charon, the ferryman in the land of the dead, is placed on the eyes or under the tongue. The body is taken after eight days and a procession takes place as they make their way down to the burial site or the funeral pyre.