Six Feet Under?
Image by elycefeliz
The modern grave is only 4 feet deep.
Why? Caskets used to be made of wood instead of the modern means. You were basically burying a wooden bubble that, after it decomposed, would collapse. Burying it 6 feet from the sod (top layer of soil where most of the grassroots are) would ensure that it wouldn’t create a sink spot on the ground.
The way people are buried today has much improved. The body first goes into an expensive casket that is usually very pretty. Typically made with wood or steel, but very polished and made to look nice for the funeral. You can buy cheap caskets, but base prices start around 0 and can go up well past 00. After this, the casket is placed in a concrete box with a flat lid. Some box & vault companies offer a "vault" where the lining of the lid has the same type of tar used to place windshields in cars. This stuff is very sticky and never dries. It seals the concrete and is very hard to break through for an excavation. This concrete box ensures that it will not sink and thus means it does not need to be buried as deep.
A typical grave is 4 feet deep, 8 feet long, and 3 feet wide.
Coffin Lowering Device
The mechanical Coffin Lowering Device (CLD) has been in common usage in the USA for many years, and with the trend for solid-wood coffins plus rising obesity, is quickly becoming an operational essential for savvy Funeral Directors here. Already there are active court cases initiated by cemetery staff as well as members of the public trying to claim compensation for graveside injury.
A grave liner, also known as a burial liner, is an enclosure that is placed over a coffin containing human corpse, which is then buried in the ground. The casket serves as the inner enclosure of a deceased person; the liner serves as the outer enclosure.
A burial liner is similar to a burial vault. The main difference between a burial vault and liner is that the liner only covers the top and sides of a casket, whereas a burial vault completely encloses a casket.
In a burial liner, the bottom of the casket in this case is in direct contact with the ground. A burial liner serves to protect a casket during burial from being crushed and keeps the casket from being crushed when the heavy equipment that many modern cemeteries use pass over the grave. A liner helps keep the ground over the grave from sinking in, and helps keeps the ground even.
To prevent sunken graves, many modern cemeteries require that either a burial liner or vault be used in burials.
The use of burial liners is typical only in recent American history and is unheard of outside of the United States. The alternative to using a burial liner is to pile the earth up over the grave in order to allow for settling as is the practice in Europe and other parts of the world. For example, in the UK burial liners are never used because the inevitable subsidence of the earth over a grave is not viewed as a major problem: as the ground subsides over a number of years, earth is added to the depression to level it.
Green cemeteries and some religions discourage the use of liners as they slow down the return of the body to the earth.