The coffins we use today are not new; coffins have been around for centuries! The world transitioned from burying bodies to coffining them. Coffins were initially designed to be temporary graves. But they eventually became the grave itself. They’re also called caskets or mortuary cases, and they come in many shapes and sizes.
Find out the history of coffin usage, see more how it has changed over time, and some interesting facts about coffins below!
History of The Casket
The casket industry traces its origins from the beginning of civilization. Initially, they were made from stone, wood, and other materials to preserve the dead body. The earliest coffin was found in a gravesite near Nazareth (Israel), dating around 100 decades ago during the 15th century BC.
The Ancient Egyptians used coffins for royalty, and then eventually it became widespread, used for all classes of people. They were made out of wood and decorated with hieroglyphics to convey the status of the deceased in society. The coffins made their way to Europe through trade routes during the early centuries AD, where they became ornate pieces that only wealthier citizens could afford.
Coffin Usage Over Time
The coffin usage has changed over time as well. It began being designed based on human body shape, so it was easier to carry by pallbearers or a group of mourners. Later, it transitioned into a vehicle with wheels added onto coffins so mules or horses could pull them along roadsides.
Coffins eventually grew more advanced, with handles added for carrying purposes and hinges, locks, and other mechanisms. This allowed coffins to be more secure and protect the dead from being buried alive.
More Interesting Facts About Coffins
There’s a new trend where people are choosing coffins with fancy designs. Some are even made of unconventional materials like wicker or bamboo, which looks better than conventional coffins.
The Ancient Egyptians mummified their pharaohs to take them on an underworld journey as part of afterlife beliefs at that period in history. This is why we still see Egyptian symbols such as scarabs on coffins today!
In Japan, construction workers build coffins for those who pass away during work hours. They considered it a sign of good luck, as woodworking was once considered sacred there. Nowadays, many Japanese prefer coffins shaped like a house or car since they’re more symbolic.
In the United States, the idea of coffins came from local cabinets and furniture makers who also worked as undertakers. They made the caskets on an as-is-needed basis. Mass production of coffins in the United States began during the civil war when they were in high demand.
Coffins are also used for nonhumans as coffined pets, a common concept in the US these days. It’s similar to cremation, but it keeps your furry friend nearby if you wish, making it great for those who have an emotional connection with their pet!
Nowadays, casket use is prevalent in all cultures worldwide. However, coffins are not just used to bury the dead. They also serve as beautiful pieces of furniture in displays at funerals for both humans and animals alike.