General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why are people buried on their backs, instead of on their sides or face-down?

Asked by elbanditoroso (31343points) January 19th, 2022

Is there is scientific reason for this practive, or is it a religious artifact?

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16 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

So that their faces are turned towards heaven and the divine domain, not the earthly realm, and definitely not the depths of hell. __Source: my arse.__

rebbel's avatar

I think Muslims are buried on their sides, facing Mekka.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Out of respect for them and their family.
But now in Autralia they are promoting standing up burials.
Here is that link:

Inspired_2write's avatar

correction : Australia

kritiper's avatar

Probably facing heaven. And some are buried facing east towards the rising sun. I would want to spend eternity on my back and not on my nose.

flutherother's avatar

It’s more dignified and natural to be laid on your back facing upwards.

Six's avatar

So you can see who it is.

Jeruba's avatar

In some traditions, people were buried in jars, folded but upright. The practice goes back as far as 4500 years BCE.

chyna's avatar

As a side note: when transporting a body on a plane, they are supposed to have the coffin with the head facing forward. I don’t know why. Maybe out of respect.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So people can pretend they’re just sleeping.

Jeruba's avatar

Here’s a lengthy discussion of this subject started by @augustlan, our Auggie, sometime community manager of Fluther and friend to all. She’s still mentioned often in various threads.

For those who don’t know, Auggie passed away in early January of 2019. I still miss her, as I’m sure do many others.

How poignant to see that she wrote this post only about a month before she passed.

SnipSnip's avatar

I think some are on their sides so as to look like they are sleeping. I haven’t actually seen it, just heard people talking. I don’t look at dead bodies.

raum's avatar

I’m pulling this out of my ass without looking it up. But don’t a lot of cultures bury their dead in the fetal position?

Seems fitting, full circle.

Jeruba's avatar

@raum, I wonder if that’s what the jars were about.

chesbud's avatar

So that they can rest in peace.

Even we cannot sleep with our face dug into pillow. We get suffocated. :)

Burying with their back in downward posture, is a symbolic to what or how we feel / wish their journey to heaven be.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does it matter if I’m cremated face up or face down or on my side?

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