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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Meynell insists the addition of the burial ground, north of Six Ashes Road, near Halfpenny Green Airport, would be a benefit for the land, which was previously a potato field, providing trees and an area for wildlife to flourish.
Meanwhile, this diktat by the CCP has been criticised by the Jamat Ul Muslamia Gausia Sunni Trust of St Inez saying that prayers are conducted at the mosque and not at the burial ground. The CCP commissioner can visit the mosque and verify it for himself.
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.
Landscape architect Ann Sharrock, who designed the garden at the burial ground, is now recreating it in a 16x13 metre plot to go on display at the Three Counties Showground next weekend.
Miriam Defensor-Santiago creating a separate crime for the robbery of cemetery items or those committed in cemeteries, graveyards or burial grounds.
A BURIAL ground for Tyneside victims of the plague is being turned into a car park for visitors to a Sikh temple.
The burial grounds were a disposal area for solid, low-level radioactive waste from research and defense operations between 1943 and 1951.
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.
Oxbridge Lane Cemetery is battling it out with burial grounds from across the UK in the 10th annual Cemetery of the Year Competition.