The process of cremation is a tradition that has been around for at least 20,000 years. The first evidence of cremated remains were found at Mungo Lake, Australia. Cremation is chosen over burial for a variety of reasons. One of the most predominant reasons is religion. Many religions do not allow for the cremation of the body and require other rituals such as burial. Some religions such as Roman Catholicism have relaxed their rules on cremation. In the 1960’s the church permitted cremation as an alternative to burial.
Before any cremation can take place a body must be held for a pre-determined amount of time. The amount of time each body must be held is determined by each state. This process allows for extra time since after a cremation is done there is no possibility to do any examinations unlike burial. A sign off from a coroner or medical examiner is often required to make sure there are no pending investigations or legal issues.
Preparing the body for cremation
Preparing the body for cremation involves removing non-organic items. This includes things such as pace-makers, jewelry and radioactive “cancer seeds” which are injectable or implantable radioactive isotopes. The isotopes are used to treat some types of cancer.
The cremation process
The body is then placed inside of a cremation casket which is typically made of a wood or cardboard. This allows the body to be placed in the cremation chamber.
Once the body is in the cremator the doors and sealed and the temperature is increased to 1800°F – 2000°F. The process typically takes 1.5 – 2 hours depending on conditions. After the cremation is completed skeletal remains will remain. These remains are put into a cremulator which reduces the bones to a sand like consistency.