Slate Politics: Habeas Corpses

Robert Harley
Sat, 16 Mar 2002 16:26:36 +0100 (CET)

GG quoted:
>William Henry Francis Basevi, in his 1920 book The Burial of the Dead,
>wrote that across history, cultures with almost no other rituals in
>common treat their dead with reverence. "In or near the grave are
>placed food, clothes, and weapons; while the body is protected from
>molestation often most elaborately.  All this provision conveys the
>idea that there is something more in burial than the disposal of a
>dead man's bones."

Well the Parsis of India leave bodies on wooden towers on hilltops,
for the flesh to be eaten by vultures and the remainder left to be
weathered away.  I believe it is similar in Tibet, except that poor
people are simply thrown in a river.