Timeline - Funeral Practices (3100 BC-1700 AD)

This segment spans the time from Ancient Egypt into the Renaissance. (3100 BC- 1700 AD).

Funeral Practices Throughout The Ages


Stonehenge is built on British Isles (3100 BC)

3100 BC

Funeral Practices of Human Civilization - From Ancient Egypt to The Renaissance

3100 BC - 1700

From The Ancient Egyptians Through The Renaissance


3100 BC - 200 AD

Burial practices of human remains is shown to occur in Egypt as early as 3100 BC. Mummification which is an art of artificially preserving of dead human (or animal) remains through evisceration and employment of dessicants such as "natron", spices, resins, pitch to purge the body of as much liquid as possible to slow "decomposition" (the process of autolysis, hydrolysis, putrefaction and eventual decay), wrap the remains in linen and entomb within a coffin and then a sarcophagus (outer burial container) is shown to have begun by 2600 BC According to archaeological record.

Neolithic Age (New Stone Age - 3000 BC - 2000 BC)

3000 BC - 2000 BC

Oldest known use of embalming

2600 BC

According to archaeologic record this is the oldest known human remains that show signs of being embalmed in the fashion known as mummification in Ancient Egypt.

Birth of the Hebrew religion of Judaism

2000 BC


Bronze Age (2000 BC - 1500 BC)

2000 BC - 1500 BC

Mycenae (Ancient Greece)

1600 BC - 529 AD

Laying Out Of The Dead

Moses and the the Exodus from Egypt

1552 BC

Hebrews leave Egypt guided by Moses. 10 Commandments issued.

Middle Bronze Age (1500 BC - 1000 BC)

1500 BC - 1000 BC

The Trojan War

1225 BC

Late Bronze Age (1000 BC - 600 BC)

1000 BC - 600 BC

Roman Period

753 BC - 476 AD

Glazed Coffins of Babylon

605 BC

Not only was Babylon known for One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World but they also had glazed earthenware coffins

Iron Age (600 BC - 200 )

600 BC - 200

Herodotus visits Egypt

450 BC

Greek chronicler Herodotus (Father of History) visits Egypt for the first time and documents the Egyptian practice of embalming and mummification.

Alexander the Great of Macedonia

356 BC - 323 BC

Hannibal Barca

247 BC - 182 BC

Punic Carthaginian military commander, generally considered one of the greatest military commanders in history

Julius Caesar

100 BC - 44 BC


69 BC - 30 BC

Birth of the historic Jesus of Nazereth

4 BC

Birth of Christ
Subsequently the Birth of Chrisianity

Crucifixion & Entombment of Jesus Christ (29 AD)

29 AD

Emperor Constantine Converts to Christianity


Christianity becomes the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Edict of Milan (Christianity no longer outlawed)


Constantine issues the Edict of Milan which no longer considers Christianity as illegal. No more having to practice religion underground in the catacombs

Council of Nicea - Birth of the Roman Catholic Church


Attilla the Hun

406 - 453

Attilla the Hun - The Church denounces him as the "Scourge of God"

St. John Chrysostom dies (407 AD)


St. John Chrysostom dies (407 AD)

Emperor Romulus Augustulus liberates Rome


Emperor who defeats the Barbarian invasion of Rome by Barbarian King Odoacer.

Legal Code of Justinian (534 AD)


Emperor Justinian (last Roman Emperor) among other things forbids Interment in cities opting for municipal cemeteries in coffins and sarcophagi.

Pope Gregory I (The Great)

540 - 604

During 590-604 AD he encouraged intramural interment as a right of all Christians.

The Penitentials of Theodore of Tarsus (Archbishop of Canterbury)

668 - 690

10 Regulations issued regarding regulations on burying the clergy.

Charlamagne unites Europe under his reign

742 - 814

Attempted to stamp out intramural burial by creating extramural cemeteries consecrated by the Roman Catholic Church away from population centers. Was buried intramurally in the church.

Norman Conquest (1066)


William the Conqueror defeats the Angles and Saxons, liberating England

The Crusades

1095 - 1272

A total of 9 Crusades were launched during this time whereby Europeans set about to free the Holy Land from the invading Muslims.

Mondino de' Luzzi

1270 - 1326

Italian physician and anatomist who advanced the systemic teaching of anatomy. Performed many dissections and wrote his life's work Anathomia Mundini in 1316 which was later published in 1478.

Guy de Chauliac

1300 - 1368

Anatomist who taught Pietro d'Argellata.

100 Years War

1337 - 1453

Englishmen Edward of York and the Earl of Suffolk are killed in battle at Agincourt, France. The Pope declares an edict that states if you should die while abroad the Church will allow disarticulation and boiling of the remains in order to allow the bones receive a proper Christian burial on home soil.

Funeral Law of Milan


Milanese Sumptuary Law

The Black Death (Bubonic Plague)

1348 - 1350

1.5 million people would die. 1/3 of the known world's population succumbs to the disease.

Sumptuary law of Aquila


Sumptuary Law

Funeral Law of Faenza


Sumptuary Law

Pietro d'Argellata (Physician and Surgeon embalms Pope Alexander V)


Professor of Anatomy at the University of Padua. Pupil of Guy de Chauliac (1300-1368). published 6 books on surgery entitled the Chirurgia.
Created various methods of cavity embalming.

Dante's Divine Comedy is published


The Spanish Inquisition

1478 - 1834

Tomas Torquemada appointed Grand Inquisitor after King Ferdinand and Isabella have the Papal Bull granted from Pope Sixtus IV in 1478 ending in 1834. Religious and ethnic cleansing torture and kill a great deal of Jews, and anyone else who is not Catholic.

Andreas Vesalius (Physician)

1514 - 1564

Flemish anatomist who published the most influential book on anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica.

Burial in Woolen Act (1666)