A Look at the History of Cremation

Memorial Park Oahu

Cremation services are a popular choice among those planning or pre-planning a funeral, and experts believe that this practice has been in use for thousands of years. Continue reading to learn about the history of cremation.

3000 B.C.
Many of today’s scholars estimate that people have been performing cremation since the early Stone Age. At this time, around 3000 B.C., it’s believed that cremation was practiced primarily in Europe and the Near East. Also, there is evidence in the form of decorative pottery urns which indicate that this funeral practice spread across northern Europe during the late Stone Age.

2500 B.C.
Cremation spread to the British Isles and what are now Portugal and Spain during the Bronze Age, between 2500 and 1000 B.C. Additionally, cemeteries for cremation burials were developed in Ireland, Hungary, northern Italy, and northern Europe.

1000 B.C.
During the Mycenaean Age, Grecian burial customs began to include cremation, and it’s guessed that early Romans followed this trend around 600 B.C. By the height of the Roman Empire, which was from 27 B.C. to 395 A.D., cremation was a standard practice that often involved the storage of elaborate urns within structures, much like modern day columbaria.

1873 A.D.
In 1873, an Italian professor presented a dependable chamber for cremation at the 1973 Vienna Exposition. This development led to what we know as cremation today. After this, the popularity of cremation grew in both Europe and North America.

1999 A.D.
Nearly 600,000 cremations were performed in 1999, which accounted for more than a quarter of the deaths in the U.S. By this time, there were more than 1,400 crematories and, a decade later, this number had risen to more than 2,000. In 2009, more than a third of all deaths in the United States were followed by cremation.

At our peaceful and full-service funeral home, we offer cremation near Oahu, HI. To learn more, please call Valley of the Temples Memorial Park at (808) 239-8811.