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John Palcewski's Journal

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Cimitero Vecchio

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Any further context on these?

It's a practice here to dig up bodies after about 10 years, clean the bones, and then put them in a family crypt with those of other relatives. This is done to conserve precious burial space. The Vecchio Cimitero, or Old Cemetery, is on the eastern side of the island near Ischia Ponte. A few years ago I witnessed an exhumation (not this one) and was struck by how casual and indifferent the gravediggers were. They just tossed the bones up onto a plastic tarp, while an old woman and her adult daughter stood beside the grave, white handkerchiefs over their mouths, silently weeping.

Re: Digging Up Old Bones

I was aware of the practice, but (like you) I was kind of taken aback at how casual the arrangement of the bones was... I would expect something a little more ceremonious....

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