Burial Ground

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burial ground

[′ber·ē·əl ‚grau̇nd]
A place for burying unwanted radioactive objects to prevent escape of their radiations, the earth acting as a shield. Also known as graveyard.

Burial Ground


in archaeology, a place for the burial of the dead. Ancient Greek and Roman burial grounds are usually called necropolises, and Christian and Moslem places of burial, cemeteries. The first burials of the dead appeared in the Paleolithic period; however, at that time, they were performed directly at the habitation sites rather than in places set aside for that purpose.

Actual burial grounds appeared in the Mesolithic. Burials were performed according to established funerary rites, which were connected with the culture’s conception of the afterlife. Various objects (“grave goods”) were placed in the grave with the deceased; such as clothing, weapons, ornaments, household vessels and utensils, food, and the carcasses of sacrificed animals. Sometimes, persons dependent on the deceased were sacrificed and buried in the same grave with the deceased (for example, at Kul’-Oba and in the Melitopol’ Kurgan).

Two types of burials are distinguished in burial grounds: inhumation and cremation. In the latter the deceased was burned and the ashes then buried. The burial structures that were used at different times by different tribes and peoples are infinitely varied, for example, simple earthen pits, pits lined with wood or stone, catacombs, vaults, and huge burial structures, such as pyramids and mausoleums. The dead or their ashes were buried in vessels (urns), cists, or wooden frames. According to external appearance, burial grounds are usually divided into barrow burial grounds, which are marked by mounds of earth or stone, or flat-grave burial grounds (without mounds). Burial grounds with both barrows and flat graves are also encountered.

The archaeological study of a burial ground yields a wealth of material not only about an ancient population’s religious beliefs but also about other aspects of its life, including the material culture, everyday life, the economy, production and trade, family and social relationships, and art. In addition, excavations of burial grounds supply material for paleoanthropology and provide museums with ancient fully preserved objects, which are seldom encountered in investigations of settlements.


Burial Ground

potter’s field; burial place for strangers. [N. T.: Matthew 27:6–10, Acts 1:18–19]
Alloway graveyard
where Tam O’Shanter saw witches dancing among opened coffins. [Br. Lit.: Burns Tam O’Shanter in Benét, 985]
Arlington National Cemetery
final resting place for America’s war heroes. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 95]
Boot Hill
Tombstone, Arizona’s graveyard, where gunfighters are buried. [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 178]
Campo Santo
famous cemetery in Pisa, with Gothic arcades and Renaissance frescoes. [Ital. Hist.: Collier’s, XV, 433]
Castel Sant’Angelo
built in Rome by Hadrian as an imperial mausoleum. [Rom. Hist.: Collier’s, XVI, 539]
Catacombs of St. Calixtus
in Rome, one of the largest of subterranean burial places, with eleven miles of galleries. [Ital. Hist.: Collier’s, IV, 458]
former monastery in central Spain; mausoleum of Spanish sovereigns. [Span. Hist.: NCE, 890]
Flanders Field
immortalized in poem; cemetery for WWI dead. [Eur. Hist.: Jameson, 176]
site of Civil War battle; cemetery for war dead. [Am. Culture: EB, IV: 515]
God’s Acre
Moravian graveyard in Winston-Salem, N.C., with 3,000 identical marble markers. [Am. Hist.: Collier’s, XIX, 471]
Grant’s Tomb
New York City burial place of General Ulysses S. Grant. [Am. Culture: EB, IV: 680]
Great Pyramid of Cheops
enormous Egyptian royal tomb. [World Hist.: Wallechinsky, 255]
Holy Sepulcher Jerusalem
cave where body of Jesus is said to have lain. [Christ. Tradition: Brewer Dictionary, 814]
cave where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob are buried. [O.T.: Genesis 23:19, 25:9, 49:30, 50:13]
potter’s field
burial ground purchased with Judas’s betrayal money. [N.T.: Matthew 27:6–8]
Stoke Poges
village whose churchyard is thought to be the scene of Gray’s “Elegy.” [Br. Lit.: Benét, 966]
Taj Mahal
fabulous tomb built by Shah Jahan for wife. [Ind. Hist.: Wallechinsky, 317]
Tomb of Mausolus
Queen Artemisia’s spectacular memorial to husband. [World Hist.: Wallechinsky, 256]
Tomb of the Unknowns
in Arlington National Cemetery; commemorates nameless war dead. [Am. Hist.: Brewer Dictionary, 1118]
Westminster Abbey
abbey filled with tombs and memorials of famous British subjects. [Br. Hist.: EB, X: 632–633]
References in periodicals archive ?
The CCP Commissioner, Ajit Roy, said that they had received complaints of prayers being performed on loudspeakers in the burial ground.
will finish up the work at the 618-10 Burial Ground.
Similar Roman burial grounds, with skeletons, pottery and metals, were uncovered in the same neighborhood around seven years ago.
Drive into the car park of Rose Hill Natural Burial Ground and a pathway takes the visitor to the open field area.
Rather than emulating the actual burial ground, the show garden will mimic the ground's garden where friends, relatives and anyone in the community can go for peace and reflection.
DIGGING The car park will be built on an old burial ground CITY CENTRE PROJECT Workers at the graveyard on Cottenham Street, just off Westgate Road, Newcastle
The remaining four are protecting grant funding for churches, creating more awareness of the value of churchyards, supporting policies which support church volunteers and putting more pressure on councils to help congregations caring for burial grounds.
Local authorities have powers to provide funding to assist the Church in Wales or others who provide burial grounds in Wales.
Burial grounds enter into one of six categories depending on their size.
PLANS for Merseyside's first natural burial ground to be built on green belt land in Wirral have been refused.
Burial grounds will then be entered into one of five categories, depending on their size, before receiving an unannounced visit from a panel of judges between now and August, who will score sites on their merits and pitfalls.
He died for the burial grounds and claiming that they didn't do things right.