Burying the dead is a uniquely
human trait that sets man apart from beasts. Throughout
history, humans bury their dead out of respect, love, fear
(from the dead rising again). Whatever the motivation can
be, burial of the dead is an integral part of human life for
most cultures or religions.
Some burial practices in history:
The dead are dropped into
a hole and covered with a stone. Some of that person’s
personal possessions may be thrown in with him.
The dead are sealed in
The dead were buried under
piles of earth. Barbarians such as the Saxons practiced
this form of burial.
The dead were placed in a
sarcophagus and placed in tombs or buildings. Ancient
Egyptians, Mayans, Chinese, and other advanced
civilizations practiced this.
The dead were burned in
vessels and released into the open sea. Vikings
The indigenous people of
Australia, the Aborigines, who lived on this continent for
more than 5,000 years before the arrival of the Europeans
had their own unique burial practice. The following is their
The dead is placed in a
grave about four feet deep.
The body is usually in
sitting position and faces towards the area of his
The body is covered with
The grave is covered with
History of Sydney’s first
The Old Sydney Burial
The George Street
The Cathedral Close
The Town Hall Cemetery
1812 – The burial ground
was extended towards the north and the west by order of
Governor Macquarie. The overall area of the burial
ground became two acres.
1820 – The cemetery became
full and decrepit because of shoddy burial practices.
The governor subsequently closed it down.
Facts surrounding the Old
Sydney Burial Ground:
It served Sydneysiders for
The area was never
formally written down as a burial ground.
There was no board of
trustees managing the area.
The burial ground was
It did not belong to any
There were no formal
records or register kept.
Over 2,000 corpses were
conservatively tallied at the burial ground. Many are
Only the dead military
were given special treatment. Freemen and convicts were
buried side by side without distinction.