Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Revelation on cemeteries

It seems to me that we are always visiting cemeteries on this trip. John and I both come from families big on cemetery visits and during our previous travels we had toured various cemeteries. It had never bother me. In fact I find cemeteries tranquil and spiritual. That is until this trip. Why? The cemeteries on this trip all have above-ground vaults occupying the same air as I do. Way too much spiritualness for me.

Today we went to the archeological site of "Ventanillas de Otuzco" (300-800 AD), a prehistoric burial site, just outside Cajamarca. I was looking in the face of the source of all my heebie-jeebies.

John commented that the modern cemeteries in South America look a lot like this prehistoric one. What do you think?

Cementerio - Tulcan, Ecuador
Cementerio - Tulcan, Ecuador

Cementerio - Mompox, Colombia
Cementario - Mompox, Colombia

Cementerio San Gabriel - Quito, Ecuador
Cementerio - Quito, Ecuador

Cementerio - Tulcan, Ecuador
P1040537

Necropolis - Ventanillas de Otuzco - Cajamarca, Peru
Ventanillas de Otuzco - Cajamarca, Peru

Necropolis - Ventanillas de Otuzco - Cajamarca, Peru
Ventanillas de Otuzco - Cajamarca, Peru

Necropolis - Ventanillas de Otuzco - Cajamarca, Peru
Ventanillas de Otuzco - Cajamarca, Peru

4 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

IIRC, H. Katrina caused considerable damage to the above ground burial vaults used in Louisiana. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8126909@N08/4625887378/ We visited LA more than a decade ago. I faintly recall vaults in which the occupants shared the facility. The newest cadaver lays on a horizontal slab until it molders to bones. The bones are pushed to a vertical well at the foot end, leaving the slab free for a new cadaver. Google doesn't confirm this.

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, are you sure?! It sounds very gruesome. I thought that the whole idea of burial is to have private space to remain whole.

Crash Eddy said...

No, not sure. As I said, Google hasn't helped me with this concept.

john said...

Ed,
In Lima we visited the Catacombs of San Francisco where over 70,000 bodies are buried. The guide said that that bodies were first deposited in a common vault, nine bodies per vault, until the flesh had decomposed. Then the bones were put into common pits, 10 meters deep and several meters across.
Photo (not mine as no photos were allowed) of the final pit here: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Lima_Convento_San_Fransisco_Catacombs.jpg