A grave is a location where a dead body (typically that of a human, although sometimes that of an animal) is buried. Graves are usually located in special areas set aside for the purpose of burial, such as graveyards or cemeteries.

Certain details of a grave, such as the state of the body found within it and any objects found with the body, may provide information for archaeologists about how the body may have lived before its death, including (but not limited to) the time period in which it lived and the culture that it had been a part of.

In some religions, it is believed that the body must be burned for the soul to survive; in others, the complete decomposition


Excavations vary from a shallow scraping, to removal of topsoil to a depth of 6 feet (1.8 metres), or more where a vault or burial chamber is to be constructed. However, most modern graves in the United States are only 4 feet deep as the casket is placed into a concrete box which prevents a sinkhole, is strong enough to be driven over, and will not float in a flood.

Excavated soil. The material dug up when the grave is excavated. It is often piled up close to the grave for backfilling and then returned to the grave to cover it. As soil decompresses when excavated and space is occupied by the burial not all the volume of soil fits back in the hole, so often evidence is found of remaining soil. In cemeteries this may end up as a thick layer of soil overlying the original ground surface.

Burial or interment. The body may be placed in a coffin or other container, in a wide range of positions, by itself or in a multiple burial, with or without personal possessions of the deceased.

Burial vault. A vault is a structure built within the grave to receive the body. It may be used to prevent crushing of the remains, allow for multiple burials such as a family vault, retrieval of remains for transfer to an ossuary, or because it forms a monument.

Grave backfill. The soil returned to the grave cut following burial. This material may contain artifacts derived from the original excavation and prior site use, deliberately placed goods or artifacts or later material. The fill may be left level with the ground or mounded.

Monument or marker. Headstones are best known, but they can be supplemented by decorative edging, foot stones, posts to support items, a solid covering or other options.

Read more about Grave:  Graveyard and Cemeteries

Other articles related to "grave":

History and Antecedents of Christian Burial Rites - The Wake
... persons, these nocturnal meetings were sometimes an occasion of grave abuses, especially in the matter of eating and drinking ... of the deceased, on the way to the church, at the church, from the church to the grave, and at the grave side ...
Sambo's Grave - History - Plaque
... summer visitors to the area for a memorial, to be placed on the unmarked grave ... slave trader, William Watson, also wrote the epitaph that now marks the grave (note the use of 'ſ', the Long s character and the eccentric and inconsistent spelling ...
Camp Nelson National Cemetery - Eligibility
... The grave plot, headstone, perpetual maintenance of the grave, and labor involved with burial are provided at no cost to the veteran or the family ... plastic burial vaults have been used to enclose the casket once it has been lowered into the grave, and are provided at no additional cost to the family ... at preventing collapse of the surface of the grave due to soil compaction ...
Grave Field
... A grave field is a prehistoric cemetery, typically of Bronze Age and Iron Age Europe ... Grave fields are distinguished from necropoleis by the former's lack of above-ground structures, buildings, or grave markers ...
Javorniški Rovt - Mass Grave
... Javorniški Rovt is the site of a mass grave from the period immediately after the Second World War ... The Jezerce Mass Grave (Slovene Grobišče Jezerce) lies northeast of the settlement in an area that was part of a test excavation for dredging and damming ...

Famous quotes containing the word grave:

    Deacon King was tried for violating the Sabbath, and so hot was the debate that it was referred to the church council, which ultimately decided, after long and grave debate, that the deacon had committed a ‘work of necessity and mercy.’
    —For the State of Massachusetts, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
    Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
    My thrice-driven bed of down.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    I was the Dreamer, they the Dream; I roam’d
    Delighted, through the motley spectacle;
    Gowns grave or gaudy, Doctors, Students, Streets,
    Lamps, Gateways, Flocks of Churches, Courts and Towers:
    William Wordsworth (1770–1850)