You must have heard the phrase “six feet deep” a number of times but you might not know how it came to be or why it is done. There are several theories and assumptions that surround the phrase some of which you might not heard of. Many people just got themselves seeing graves being dug six feet deep but there must be reasons as to why this done.
Here are the reasons why graves are dug six feet deep;
1. To avoid the spread of disease
Since the phrase “six feet deep” has its origin from England, doctors and London officials came up with a regulation in the 16th Century that required the graves to be 6 feet or 1.8 metres. This is because they mistakenly thought that the deceased if not disposed properly, would spread diseases across the land. The six feet was to prevent or slow possible spread of illnesses.
Geologists not that this might have been invented since the height of six feet is what can be dug in six feet before the walls start caving in. There are some kinds of soil such as sandy soils that are likely to start caving in when dug for more than 1.8 metres. The six feet depth was reached to favour most soil conditions and protect the grave diggers.
3. To prevent disturbing the dead
Apart from corpse stealing that was rampant in Scotland and England in the 16th Century, this depth was also reached to prevent farmers from digging bodies when working their fields. Because of a demand for cadavers in medical schools for anatomical research in England fresh bodies were stolen and sold. The six feet depth was seen as a hindrance to theft.
4. Grave digger height
Six feet is the maximum height that a grave digger can stand and still be able to throw out the dug dirt without requiring a ladder. This suggests that this depth was reached at not to complicate the grave digging exercise.
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