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":

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 ... 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 ...
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 Javornik Creek to create a reservoir for a ...
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 ...
Sambo's Grave - History - Plaque
... money from summer visitors to the area for a memorial, to be placed on the unmarked grave ... Lancaster 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 ...

Famous quotes containing the word grave:

    I put on
    the body-armor of black rubber
    the absurd flippers
    the grave and awkward mask.
    Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)

    Who then is she,
    She holding me? The people’s sea drives on her,
    Drives out the father from the caesared camp;
    The dens of shape
    Shape all her whelps with the long voice of water,
    That she I have,
    The country-handed grave boxed into love....
    Dylan Thomas (1914–1953)

    It flows through old hushed Egypt and its sands,
    Like some grave mighty thought threading a dream,
    Leigh Hunt (1784–1859)