organic burial capsules

Organic Burial Pods

I’ve recently just come across this article from Bored Panda, entitled «Forget Coffins – Organic Burial Pods Will Turn Your Loved Ones Into Trees»… It talked about this project in Italy, called the Capsula Mundi, where designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel has developed an organic and bio-degradable burial capsule  that would enable a deceased person’s body to be turned into nutrients for a tree that will be planted above it. Being pro-Earth and pro-environment myself, I am all for this project and couldn’t wait until it gets adopted internationally. It is, after all, a great way of reforesting the planet besides being a less morbid and definitely more cheerful way of leaving our mark after we pass away…

The archaeologist in me, however, couldn’t help but wonder how this project could impact the archaeology of human remains, if or when its practice takes root (pardon the pun). The capsule itself is supposed to be bio-degradable, so I assume that over time, this would break down and will be absorbed by the surrounding soil matrix. As for the human body itself, would it be completely absorbed as nutrients by the tree planted above it, thereby leaving nothing for future archaeologists to study? Or would the plant’s root system somehow encase the body in such a way that it eventually takes on a vaguely human shape?

(Just me thinking out loud… 😉)

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