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History of Cremation

Cremation has been a common way to handle a corpse for many centuries all across the world. Cremation started as far back as 20,000 years ago. There is evidence of cremation beginning in Europe roughly 2,000 B.C. and many scholars believe the practice became quite popular around this time for Europeans. 
 
Over time, popularity of cremation began to wane. By the Middle Ages, cremation became a form of punishment and was not viewed as a compassionate way to care for the deceased. Cremation reclaimed popularity by the late 1800’s. The first crematory in the United States was constructed in 1876. By 1913, there were 52 crematories across North America and more than 10,000 cremations occurring annually.
 
when did cremation begin