As the mower blades are set lower than the top of the beam and the mowers do not go over the beam, the blades cannot damage the plaques. Up on the beam, the plaques cannot be easily overgrown by grass, and spaces between the plaques permit families to place flowers and other objects out of reach of the mowing.
A natural cemetery, eco-cemeterygreen cemetery or conservation cemeteryis a new style of cemetery as an area set aside for natural burials with or without coffins. Natural burials are motivated by a desire to be environmentally conscious with the body rapidly decomposing and becoming part of the natural environment without incurring the environmental cost of traditional burials.
Certifications may be granted for various levels of green burial. Green burial certifications are issued in a tiered system reflecting level of natural burial practice. Green burial certification standards designate a cemetery as Hybrid, Natural, or Conservation Burial Grounds. Many scientists have argued that natural burials would be a highly efficient use of land if designed specifically to save endangered habitats, ecosystems and species.
The opposite has also been proposed. Instead of letting natural burials permanently protect wild landscapes, others have argued that the rapid decomposition of a natural burial, in principle, allows for the quick re-use of grave sites in comparison with conventional burials. However, it is unclear if reusing cemetery land will be culturally acceptable to most people. In keeping with the intention of "returning to nature" and the early re-use potential, natural cemeteries do not normally have conventional grave markings such as headstones.
Instead, exact GPS recordings and or the placing of a tree, bush or rock often marks the location of the dead, so grieving family and friends can visit the precise location of a grave. Columbarium walls are a common feature of many cemeteries, reflecting the increasing use of cremation rather than burial. While cremated remains can be kept at home by families in urns or scattered in some significant or attractive place, neither of these approaches allows for a long-lasting commemorative plaque to honour the dead nor provide a place for the wider circle of friends and family to come to mourn or visit.
Therefore, many cemeteries now provide walls typically of brick or rendered brick construction with a rectangular array of niches, with each niche being big enough to accommodate a person's cremated remains. Columbarium walls are a very space-efficient use of land in a cemetery compared with burials and a niche in a columbarium wall is a much cheaper alternative to a burial plot.
As the writing on the plaques has to be fairly small to fit on the small size of the plaque, the design of columbarium walls is constrained by the ability of visitors to read the plaques. Thus, the niches are typically placed between 1 metre to 2 metres above the ground so the plaques can be easily read by an adult.
Some columbarium walls have niches going close to ground level, but these niches are usually unpopular with families as it is difficult to read the plaque without bending down very low something older people in particular find difficult or uncomfortable to do.
As with graves, the niches may be assigned by the cemetery authorities or families may choose from the unoccupied niches available. It is usually possible to purchase or pay a deposit to reserve the use of adjacent niches for other family members. The use of adjacent niches vertically or horizontally usually permits a larger plaque spanning all the niches involved, which provides more space for the writing.
As with graves, there may be separate columbarium walls for different religions or for war veterans. As with lawn cemeteries, the original expectation was that people would prefer the uncluttered simplicity of a wall of plaques, but the practice of leaving flowers is very entrenched.
Mourners leave flowers and other objects on top of columbarium walls or at the base, as close as they can to the plaque of their family member. In some cases, it is possible to squeeze a piece of wire or string under the plaque allowing a flower or small posy to be placed on the plaque itself or clips are glued onto the plaque for that purpose.
Newer designs of columbarium walls take this desire to leave flowers into account by incorporating a metal clip or loop beside each plaque, typically designed to hold a single flower stem or a small posy. As the flowers decay, they simply fall to the ground and do not create a significant maintenance problem.
While uncommon today, family or private cemeteries were a matter of practicality during the settlement of America. If a municipal or religious cemetery had not been established, settlers would seek out a small plot of land, often in wooded areas bordering their fields, to begin a family plot. Sometimes, several families would arrange to bury their dead together. While some of these sites later grew into true cemeteries, many were forgotten after a family moved away or died out.
Today, it is not unheard of to discover groupings of tombstones, ranging from a few to a dozen or more, on undeveloped land. As late 20th-century suburban sprawl pressured the pace of development in formerly rural areas, it became increasingly common for larger exurban properties to be encumbered by "religious easements", which are legal requirements for the property owner to permit periodic maintenance of small burial plots located on the property but technically not owned with it.
Often, cemeteries are relocated to accommodate building. However, if the cemetery is not relocated, descendants of people buried there may visit the cemetery. More recent is the practice of families with large estates choosing to create private cemeteries in the form of burial sites, monumentscryptsor mausoleums on their property; the mausoleum at Fallingwater is an example of this practice.
Burial of a body at a site may protect the location from redevelopment, with such estates often being placed in the care of a trust or foundation. Presently, state regulations have made it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, Graveyard, to start private cemeteries; many require a plan to care for the site in perpetuity. Private cemeteries are nearly always forbidden on incorporated residential zones.
Many people will bury a beloved pet on the family property. All of the Saudis in Al Baha are Muslims, and this is reflected in their cemetery and funeral customs.
So the villagers would dig graves close by burying members of the same family in one area. That was how the family and tribal burial grounds came about If the family ran out of space, they would open old graves where family members had been buried before and add more people to them.
This process is known as khashf. During famines and outbreaks of epidemics huge numbers of people would die and many tribes faced difficulties in digging new graves because of the difficult weather. In the past, some Arab winters lasted for more than six months and would be accompanied with much rain and fog, impeding movement. But due to tribal rivalries many families would guard their cemeteries and put restrictions on who was buried in them. Across Baha, burial grounds have been constructed in different ways.
Some cemeteries consist of underground vaults or concrete burial chambers with the capacity of holding many bodies simultaneously. Such vaults include windows for people to peer through and are usually decorated ornately with text, drawings, and patterns.
At least one resident believes that the graves unique in the region because many are not oriented toward Meccaand therefore must pre-date Islam. Graves are terraced in Yagoto Cemetery, which is an urban cemetery situated in a hilly area in Nagoya, Japan, effectively creating stone walls blanketing hillsides. The Cross Bones is a burial ground for prostitutes in London. In the s and s, it has become increasingly common for cemeteries and funeral homes to offer online services.
There are also stand-alone online "cemeteries" such as Find a GraveCanadian HeadstonesInterment. In Western countries, and many others [ quantify ]visitors to graves commonly leave cut flowersespecially during major holidays and on birthdays or relevant anniversaries. Cemeteries usually dispose of these flowers after a few weeks in order to keep the space maintained.
Some companies offer perpetual flower services, to ensure a grave is always decorated with fresh flowers. For this purpose roses are highly common. Visitors to loved ones interred in Jewish cemeteries often leave a small stone on the top of the headstone. There are prayers said at the gravesite, and the stone is left on the visitor's departure.
It is done as a show of respect; as a general rule, flowers are not placed at Jewish graves. Flowers are fleeting; the symbology inherent in the use of a stone is to show that the love, honor, memories, and soul of the loved one are eternal. This practice is seen in the closing scene of the film Schindler's Listalthough in that case it is not on a Jewish grave. War graves will commonly have small timber remembrance crosses left with a red poppy attached to its centre.
These will often have messages written on the cross. More formal visits will often leave a poppy wreath. Jewish war graves are sometimes marked by a timber Star of David. Placing burning grave candles on the cemetery to commemorate the dead is a very common tradition in Catholic nations, for example, Poland. It is mostly practised on All Souls' Day. The traditional grave candles are called znicz in Polish. Traditionally cemetery management only involves the allocation of land for burial, the digging and filling of graves, and the maintenance of the grounds and landscaping.
The construction and maintenance of headstones and other grave monuments are usually the responsibilities of surviving families and friends.
However, increasingly, many people regard the resultant collection of individual headstones, concrete slabs and fences some of which may be decayed or damaged to be aesthetically unappealing, leading to new cemetery developments either standardising the shape or design of headstones or plaques, sometimes by providing a standard shaped marker as part of the service provided by the cemetery.
Cemetery authorities normally employ a full-time staff of caretakers to dig graves. The term "gravedigger" is still used in casual speech, though many cemeteries have adopted the term "caretaker", since their duties often involve maintenance of the cemetery grounds and facilities. The employment of skilled personnel for the preparation of graves is done not only to ensure the grave is dug in the correct location and at the correct depth, but also to relieve families from having to dig the grave for a recently dead relative, and as a matter of public safety, in order to prevent inexperienced visitors from injuring themselves, to ensure unused graves are properly covered, and to avoid legal liability that would result from an injury related to an improperly dug or uncovered grave.
Preparation of the grave is usually done before the mourners arrive for the burial. The cemetery caretakers fill the grave after the burial, generally after the mourners have departed. Mechanical equipment, such as backhoesare used to reduce labour cost of digging and filling, but some hand shovelling may still be required. Coffins may be interred at lesser depths or even above ground as long as they are encased in a concrete chamber.
This is considered a valid method of resource management and provides income to keep older cemeteries viable, thus forestalling the need for permanent closure, which would result in a reduction of their work force. Usually there is a legal requirement to maintain records regarding the burials or interment of ashes within a cemetery.
These burial registers usually contain at a minimum the name of the person buried, the date of burial and the location of the burial plots within the cemetery, although some contain far more detail. The Arlington National Cemeteryone of the United States' largest military cemeteries, has a registry, The ANC Explorerwhich contains details such as photographs of the front and back of the tombstones.
In order to Graveyard manage the space within the cemetery to avoid burials in existing graves and to record locations in the burial register, most cemeteries have some systematic layout of graves in rows, generally grouped into larger sections as required. Often the cemetery displays this information in the form of a mapwhich is used both by the cemetery administration in managing their land use and also by friends and family members seeking to locate a particular grave within the cemetery.
One issue relates to cost. Traditionally a single payment is made at the time of burial, but the cemetery authority incurs expenses in cemetery maintenance over many decades. Many cemetery authorities find that their accumulated funds are not sufficient for the costs of long-term maintenance. This shortfall in funds for maintenance results in three main options: charge much higher prices for new burials, obtain some other kind of public subsidy, or neglect maintenance. For cemeteries without space for new burials, the options are even more limited.
Public attitudes towards subsidies are highly variable. People with family buried in local cemeteries are usually quite concerned about neglect of cemetery maintenance and will usually argue in favour of public subsidy of local cemetery maintenance, whereas other people without personal connection to the cemetery often argue that public subsidies of private cemeteries is an inappropriate use of their taxes.
Some jurisdictions require a certain amount of money be set aside in perpetuity and invested so that the interest earned can be used for maintenance. Another issue relates to limited amount of land. In many larger towns and cities, the older cemeteries which were initially considered to be large often run out of space for new burials and there is no vacant adjacent land available to extend the cemetery or even land in the same general area to create new cemeteries.
New cemeteries are generally established on the periphery of towns and cities, where large tracts of land are still available. However, people often wish to be buried in the same cemetery as other relatives, and are not interested in being buried in new cemeteries with which there is no sense of connection to their family, creating pressure to find more space in existing cemeteries. A third issue is the maintenance of monuments and headstones, which are generally the responsibility of families, but often become neglected over time.
Decay and damage through vandalism or cemetery maintenance practices can render monuments and headstones either unsafe or at least unsightly. On the other hand, some families do not forget the grave but constantly visit, leaving behind flowers, plants, and other decorative items that create their own maintenance problem.
All of these issues tend to put pressure on the re-use of grave sites within cemeteries. The re-use of graves already used for burial can cause considerable upset to family members.
Although the Graveyard might declare that the grave is sufficiently old that there will be no human remains still present, nonetheless many people regard the re-use of graves particularly their family's graves as a desecration. Also re-use of a used grave involves the removal of any monuments and headstones, which may cause further distress to families although families will typically be allowed to take away the monuments and headstones if they wish. On the other hand, cemetery authorities are well aware that many old graves are forgotten and not visited and that their re-use will not cause distress to anyone.
However, there may be some older graves in a cemetery for whom there are local and vocal descendants who will mount a public campaign against re-use. One pragmatic strategy is to publicly announce plans to re-use older graves and invite families to respond if they are willing or not.
Re-use then only occurs where there are no objections allowing the "forgotten" graves to be re-used. Sometimes the cemetery authorities request a further payment to avoid re-use of a grave, but often this backfires politically. A practical problem with regard to contacting families is that the person who initially purchased the burial plot s may have subsequently died and locating living family members, if any, many decades later is virtually impossible or at least prohibitively expensive.
Public notice about the proposed re-use of graves may or may not reach family members living further afield who may object to such practices. Therefore, it is possible that re-use could occur without family awareness. Some cemeteries did foresee the need for re-use and included in their original terms and conditions a limited tenure on a grave site and most new cemeteries follow this practice, having seen the problems faced by older cemeteries.
Common practice in Europe is to place bones in an ossuary after the proscribed burial period is over. However, even when the cemetery has the legal right to re-use a grave, strong public opinion often forces the authorities to back down on that re-use.
Also, even when cemeteries have a limited tenure provision in place, funding shortages can force them to contemplate re-use earlier than the original arrangements provided for. Another type of grave site considered for re-use are empty plots purchased years ago but never used. In principle it would seem easier to "re-use" such grave sites as there can be no claims of desecrationbut often this is made complicated by the legal rights to be buried obtained by the pre-purchase, as any limited tenure clause only takes effect after there has been a burial.
Again, cemetery authorities suspect that in many cases the holders of these burial rights are probably dead and Graveyard nobody will exercise that burial right, but again some families are aware of the burial rights they possess and do intend to exercise them as and when family members die. Again the difficulty of being unable to locate the holders of these burial rights complicates the re-use of those graves. As historic cemeteries begin to reach their capacity for full burials, alternative memorialization, such as collective memorials for cremated individuals, is becoming more common.
Different cultures have different attitudes to destruction of cemeteries and use of the land for construction. In some countries it is considered normal to destroy the graves, while in others the graves are traditionally respected for a century or more.
In many cases, after a suitable period of time has elapsed, the headstones are removed and the now former cemetery is converted to a recreational park or construction Graveyard. A more recent trend, particularly in South American cities, involves constructing high-rise buildings to house graves.
Cemeteries in the United States may be relocated if the land is required for other reasons. For instance, many cemeteries in the southeastern United States were relocated by the Tennessee Valley Authority from areas about to be flooded by dam construction. The light rail transit line running to the south end eventually had to be built directly under the road.
Cemetery authorities also face tension between the competing demands of efficient maintenance with the needs of mourners. Labour costs in particular have risen substantially and so finding low-cost maintenance methods meaning low-labour maintenance methods is increasingly important. In this regard, older cemeteries designed at a time of relatively low-cost labour and limited automation tend to present the greatest difficulties for maintenance.
On the other hand, newer cemeteries might be designed to be more efficiently maintained with lower labour through the increased use of equipment, e. European Commission regulations mandate placement of a portable toilet on every cemetery in the EU. However, efficient maintenance of newer graves is often frustrated by the actions of mourners who often place flowers and other objects on graves. These objects often require manual intervention; in some cases objects will be picked up and returned after maintenance, in other cases e.
Again, although cemetery authorities try to prohibit the quantity and nature of objects placed on graves a common restriction is to allow only fresh flowers, not in a vase or potbut mourning families might ignore any such regulations and become very upset if other objects are removed. In particular, in an era in which the death of children is now relatively uncommon, some parents create quite large shrines at their child's grave, decorating them with toys, wind chimes, statues of angels and cherubs, etc.
Cemetery authorities have to try to deal with such situations sensitively, as strong emotions are involved. However, as well as their own maintenance problems with such "shrines", families with graves in the surrounding area often complain to cemetery authorities about the "mess", as they believe it detracts from the dignity of their family's graves.
Therefore, the cemetery authorities must find a solution that satisfies both parties. In many countries, cemeteries are places believed to hold both superstition and legend characteristics, being used, usually at night times, as an altar in supposed black magic ceremonies or similarly clandestine happenings, such as devil worshipping, grave-robbing gold teeth and jewelry are preferredthrilling sex encounters or drug and alcohol abuse not related to the cemetery aura see below.
The legend of zombiesas romanticized by Wade Davis in The Serpent and the Rainbowis not exceptional among cemetery myths, as cemeteries are believed to be places where witches and sorcerers get skulls and bones needed for their sinister rituals.
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