Burial Timeline

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  • c. 6000 BCE - c. 3150 BCE
    Burial rituals develop during the Predynastic Period in Egypt.
  • c. 6000 BCE
    Burial of the dead in Egypt.
  • c. 6000 BCE
    Earliest Egyptian mastabas dug at Saqqara.
  • c. 5000 BCE
    Dead buried with grave goods at Banpo Village, China.
  • c. 5000 BCE
    Evidence of burial in Sumer.
  • 4300 BCE
    First megalithic tombs in Europe.
  • c. 4000 BCE - c. 2300 BCE
    Depictions of ships in stone (in burial settings) and metal found in Scandinavia.
  • c. 4000 BCE
    Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery begins in Sligo, Ireland.
  • c. 4000 BCE
    Depictions of gods and afterlife on walls of Egyptian tombs.
  • c. 3300 BCE
    Early Harappan Civilization of India practices burial of the dead.
  • 3300 BCE
    Newgrange Burial Mound constructed in Ireland.
  • c. 3200 BCE
    Hieroglyphic script developed in Egypt.
  • c. 3150 BCE - c. 30 BCE
    Burial rituals in Egypt are strictly observed to ensure the eternal life of the soul, including mummification, grave goods, and elaborate funerary rites.
  • 3000 BCE - 2000 BCE
    First rock-cut burial chambers at Akrotiri.
  • 3000 BCE
    Stone tombs on Crete.
  • 3000 BCE
    Tomb of the Eagles created in Scotland.
  • c. 3000 BCE - c. 2800 BCE
    Maeshowe Passage Grave completed in Scotland.
  • c. 2800 BCE
    Later Harappan Civilization turns to cremation over burial.
  • c. 2670 BCE - c. 2650 BCE
    The Step Pyramid is built by Imhotep under reign of King Djoser.
  • c. 2613 BCE - 2181 BCE
    The pyramid tombs of Giza are constructed during the Old Kingdom period of Egypt.
  • c. 2600 BCE - c. 2000 BCE
    The Royal Graves of Ur used in Sumer.
  • c. 2600 BCE
    Mayan Culture buries their dead individually under homes.
  • c. 2560 BCE
    The Great Pyramid of Giza is constructed by Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops).
  • c. 1700 BCE - c. 1600 BCE
    First shaft graves constructed at Mycenae.
  • c. 1550 BCE - 1070 BCE
    Composition of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
  • c. 1500 BCE - c. 1400 BCE
    First palace structure and Treasury of Atreus tomb built at Mycenae.
  • c. 1500 BCE
    First tholos tombs built at Mycenae.
  • c. 1100 BCE
    Greeks implement use of individual tombs and graves.
  • c. 700 BCE
    Tomb of Mayan King K'utz Chman of Retalhuleu constructed in Guatemala.
  • 500 BCE - 300 BCE
    Rich Scythian burials.
  • c. 425 CE - c. 450 CE
    Earliest Anglo-Saxon burial in Britain.

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Legend:

6000 BCE 5500 BCE 5000 BCE 4500 BCE 4000 BCE 3500 BCE 3000 BCE 2500 BCE 2000 BCE 1500 BCE 1000 BCE 500 BCE 0 CE  
 
6000 BCE - 3150 BCE: Burial rituals develop during the Predynastic Period in Egypt.
 
 
6000 BCE: Burial of the dead in Egypt.
 
6000 BCE: Earliest Egyptian mastabas dug at Saqqara.
 
 
5000 BCE: Dead buried with grave goods at Banpo Village, China.
 
 
5000 BCE: Evidence of burial in Sumer.
 
 
4300 BCE: First megalithic tombs in Europe.
 
 
4000 BCE - 2300 BCE: Depictions of ships in stone (in burial settings) and metal found in Scandinavia.
 
 
4000 BCE: Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery begins in Sligo, Ireland.
 
 
4000 BCE: Depictions of gods and afterlife on walls of Egyptian tombs.
 
 
3300 BCE: Early Harappan Civilization of India practices burial of the dead.
 
 
3300 BCE: Newgrange Burial Mound constructed in Ireland.
 
3200 BCE: Hieroglyphic script developed in Egypt.
 
3150 BCE - 30 BCE: Burial rituals in Egypt are strictly observed to ensure the eternal life of the soul, including mummification, grave goods, and elaborate funerary rites.
 
 
3000 BCE - 2000 BCE: First rock-cut burial chambers at Akrotiri.
 
 
3000 BCE: Stone tombs on Crete.
 
 
3000 BCE: Tomb of the Eagles created in Scotland.
 
 
3000 BCE - 2800 BCE: Maeshowe Passage Grave completed in Scotland.
 
 
2800 BCE: Later Harappan Civilization turns to cremation over burial.
 
 
2670 BCE - 2650 BCE: The Step Pyramid is built by Imhotep under reign of King Djoser.
 
2613 BCE - 2181 BCE: The pyramid tombs of Giza are constructed during the Old Kingdom period of Egypt.
 
 
2600 BCE - 2000 BCE: The Royal Graves of Ur used in Sumer.
 
 
2600 BCE: Mayan Culture buries their dead individually under homes.
 
 
2560 BCE: The Great Pyramid of Giza is constructed by Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops).
 
 
1700 BCE - 1600 BCE: First shaft graves constructed at Mycenae.
 
 
1550 BCE - 1070 BCE: Composition of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.
 
 
1500 BCE - 1400 BCE: First palace structure and Treasury of Atreus tomb built at Mycenae.
 
 
1500 BCE: First tholos tombs built at Mycenae.
 
 
1100 BCE: Greeks implement use of individual tombs and graves.
 
 
700 BCE: Tomb of Mayan King K'utz Chman of Retalhuleu constructed in Guatemala.
 
 
500 BCE - 300 BCE: Rich Scythian burials.
 
425 CE - 450 CE: Earliest Anglo-Saxon burial in Britain.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6000 BCE 5000 BCE 4000 BCE 3000 BCE 2000 BCE 1000 BCE 0 CE

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