Here we'll explore the biological process of death and also clear up some basic questions about the science of it all.
Find out how the mind reacts to death and how people try to cope with it.
Death is treated very differently all around the world. Here we'll discuss the various religious and cultural differences.
Discover the social implications of death and how death affects society.
Discuss death related topics with other surfers.
World Religions and how they deal with death
Death according to Frazer
Technically, prehistory is the period in human affairs before writing had been invented. But even before people began intentionally recording the daily events that would eventually become our historical data, they left indicators of their habits, their thought processes, and their culture. They left innumerable clues about their lives... and their deaths.
Scene; an excavated cave in Africa (check location). Several feet down lies (lays?) a skeleton surrounded with curious items. The dessicated remains of flowers. Chipped stone tools. Sticks of red clay earth. These items are found only in the vicinity of the body. The body, by the way, is tentatively dated as 10,000 years old, three thousand years older than the first discovered writing. The lucky stiff is one of the earliest examples of ceremonial burial.
While the simple grave is of great interest archaeologically, it is of even greater interest anthropologically and psychologically; it represents a massive shift in human thought concerning death. An inert body has no use for tools, but perhaps the bereaved felt the deceased could take it with him, would in fact need them where he was going.
Such burial sites are some of the earliest indicators of people holding the notion that death is not the end, the notion that is the kernel of human thought about death. It's one of the most popular ideas ever conceived; an individual person can believe that the end of life is the end of everything, that there is nothing after the final breath, but a whole culture rarely believes so.
But although each culture holds this idea tightly, each one is shaped by it in a different way. Much as each person mourns differently, each civilization deals with death in a different way. Each thinks of death in a different way. Each prepares for death in a different way. Each treats the dead in a different way. And even though the central idea of an existence after death remains the same, history produces on command varied and unique afterlives.
Simply put, everybody dies, but everybody dies differently. Let's take a closer look.
Copyright 2001. Created by a Thinkquest team.
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