How long will human ash last?

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Offline steved1980

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How long will human ash last?
« on: 27/03/2012 08:08:50 »
I can't find this answer anywhere.  I'f I had the remains from someone in the 1500's in an urn would his ashes have decomposed?  What's the shelf life for human ash???

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: How long will human ash last?
« Reply #1 on: 27/03/2012 11:37:29 »
I think it would depend on how the ash is treated.  Sitting in a dry urn on the mantel, and it could last for hundreds, or thousands of years.

Scattered in the environment, I would think the ash would disappear quickly, perhaps the majority would be gone in a year or so.

There are cremated remains at Stonehenge that date back about 5000 years ago.

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Offline steved1980

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Re: How long will human ash last?
« Reply #2 on: 27/03/2012 18:39:00 »
Perfect.  Thanks! 

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Offline RD

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Re: How long will human ash last?
« Reply #3 on: 29/03/2012 03:58:53 »
... There are cremated remains at Stonehenge that date back about 5000 years ago.

Article:
11,500-Year-Old Remains of Cremated 3-Year-Old Discovered


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Offline CliffordK

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Re: How long will human ash last?
« Reply #4 on: 29/03/2012 04:51:15 »
One thing about cremation.
In ancient times one might get bones whole.
In modern times, the bones are ground up, giving the "ashes" in small pieces.