Grim Behavior – Facedown Burials Widely Used to Humiliate the Dead

From wayward nuns to convicted witches, the global custom of burying people prone was likely used to disrespect or humiliate the dead, according to the first study of its kind. It suggests that it was a custom used across societies to disrespect or humiliate the dead. Lead study author Caroline Arcini searched existing literature to make the first ever catalog of facedown burials from around the world and found descriptions of more than 600 bodies from 215 grave sites, from Peru to South Korea. The highest frequency of facedown burials in Sweden, for instance, dates to the period of the Viking age when Christianity arrived in the region. Arcini  concluded that shaming the dead “is most probably a deep-rooted behavior in humankind.”

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Full story: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090623-facedown-burials.html

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