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Dig deeper – Neolithic ceremonies

Sky burials and towers of silence

Other people have exposed their dead in more recent times. These include Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhists and the Zoroastrians of Persia and India.

Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhists lie out the dead on mountaintops and cut apart the body to hasten decomposition. This demonstrates their beliefs in the impermanence of life. Zoroastrians built huge stone ‘towers of silence’ then later gathered up the bleached bones to place in ossuaries. They believed that the dead body was polluting and the soul would be resurrected.

Video documentary about a Tibetan sky burial.


Find out more about Neolithic ceremonies in Bedford River Valley Park.