Ancient cemeteries remind us that humans have been constructing homes for the dead for thousands of years – perhaps as long as we have been constructing houses for the living. Why do we care so deeply about the dead? They represent our past and future, our mortality and our morality. Over the last two centuries, the cemetery has also come to exemplify our need to maintain a relationship to nature within the context of large-scale industrial cities. It is a pastoral haven meant to provide respite from the frenetic routine of our daily lives. The desire to have the cemetery express memory and spirituality – to be both a monument and landscape – creates a tension between nature and culture with which we continue to struggle today.
Sitelines: A journal of place 5.1 (2010): 2-15.