The Intricate History of How Cemeteries Came To Be

In a funerary lesson for Ted-Ed written by educator Keith Eggener and animated by Gerta Xhelo, narrator Adrian Dannatt quite elegantly explains how cemeteries came to be. He also spellbindingly tells about how the dead were laid to rest before cemeteries existed and what cemeteries look like now and what they might look like in the future.

Spindly trees, rusted gates, crumbling stone, a solitary mourner: these things come to mind when we think of cemeteries. But not long ago, many burial grounds were lively places, with gardens and crowds of people — and for much of human history, we didn’t bury our dead at all. How did cemeteries become what they are today?