You Are Dead

Imagine that you are dead and your loved ones are preparing to bury you in the ground. What do you think those surviving you will put in your grave with you? How will they express who you are and their relationships to you in material items. Think about your family and your friends, both your old friends and your college friends.

Items such as these are termed “grave goods” and archaeologists can learn a lot about a culture based on the kinds of grave goods they provide to their dead. How might future archaeologists interpret the items you’ve chosen to be buried with?

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About Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson is a project cataloger at The Mariners' Museum library. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and was formerly a professor at ODU. You can find him on Twitter @m4ttTh0mps0n.
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39 Responses to You Are Dead

  1. Jenna Birkmire says:

    If my family and friend’s had to bury me, the first thing they would put in my grave with me would be a water bottle. I’m constantly drinking water and I drink a lot more then the average persons does, plus I never leave home without a water bottle. The second thing they would put in would be pictures of my family and of the beach. I love my family, immediate and non-immediate. They are the ones that I always look up to and look to for advice and they all know how important they are to me. Next, a picture of the beach because over the summer I never get off the beach. I work at the ocean so I am there all day. I surf in the morning, work throughout the day, and sometimes stay at night. Books would also be placed in my grave because I love to read and I’m constantly reading. By these “grave goods” archaeologist would know that I cared about my family and had a close relationship with them, know that I love the beach and surfing, and know that I enjoy reading.

  2. Alexandra Ecker says:

    If I was buried I think my mom would put in a blanket that her and I made years ago together and also all the scrapbooks she has made me throughout my years in school from kindergarten through high school. She would also put in my charm bracelet from all the places i have traveled. My dad, on the other hand, would put in the artwork i have done for him in the past. Like, cards and drawings i did when i was little because he has kept every single one. They would also put my cell phone in there because it is a big part of me. My room mate would put in my grave something pink and zebra because every time she sees the print it reminds her of me. My friends would put pictures of us together and all the letters we wrote to each other in high school when we were bored. Archeologists would think that i was close to my family and friends and i liked to travel.

  3. Samantha Gregson says:

    If my family had to bury me, they would put pictures of my family including my dog. I am very close with my parents and they are always there for me when I need them. My dog is my first pet and by taking care of him as I grew up it taught me responsibility. Also I think my parents would put my artwork and pottery I have made because it reminds them of my childhood and they still display them around the house. Also my mom would put in my pearl jewelery that I wear everyday that she gave me that was given to her by her mother. They would also bury scrapbooks of family vacations because I love traveling. We would travel to Germany a lot because that is where my mom is from. My family would include pictures of my friends as well because they knew how important they were to me. I have had the same best friends since I was a kid and my family knows how much I value friendship.

  4. Matt Marquand says:

    If my family and friends had to bury me, the first thing they would put in my grave is an LSU football helmet. I am a fanatical LSU football fan which i got from my dad. Alongside my LSU football helmet would be a Washington Nationals baseball bat. I have season tickets and attend games with my friends from high school. My friends and family would also bury the book, The Killer Angels, this is my favorite book and is very meaningful to me. The last item that would be buried with me is a fishing pole. Fishing has a calming effect and provides tranquility to the rush of everyday life. These items represent my personality and relationships.

  5. Sarah Woodruff says:

    If my family and friends had to bury me, the first thing they would put in my grave would be a basketball. I grew up around the sport and have played since I was five years old. Going more than a week without playing basketball is terrible for me. Playing is my stress reliever and puts me in a good mood. Another thing that would be put in my grave would be pictures of times at my lake house. That is my home away from home and my favorite place to go. I have many memories there with friends and family. Lastly, my IPod would be put in my grave. I am always whistling, humming, or singing to songs. It is a habit and sometimes I don’t know I am doing it until my roommates tell me to stop because I get really loud. They act like it annoys them, but I know it makes the apartment more lively. Archaeologists would know by looking at these items that I loved basketball, enjoyed being with friends and family especially at my lake house, and that I liked music.

  6. Kimberly Arceo says:

    If I was being buried my family would bury pictures of my family and I with me. My family is the most important aspect of my life and the pictures would represent the memories we have together. All of the Christmases, holidays, birthdays, vacations and other memories. They will also bury my Ipod with me because music inspires me and is my stress reliever. Other things they may bury with me are the meaningful gifts that I have received, such as the jewelry both of my grandmas have given or passed down to me. Through these items archaeologists might interpret how family was an important aspect of my life. They may also observe the technology of our time and how it is used for leisure, which from there they may infer what I like to do in my free time. As through the gifts or jewelry they might conclude what is considered valuable in our time period.

  7. Lyndon Garner says:

    If my family and friends had to bury me, the first thing that they would put in my grave would be my CNU football jersey. I have been playing football since I started running. My passion for football became even deeper when I started playing pee wee football at the age of six. As I progressed in football, I established personal goals for myself and strived to execute them on the field. I like to be accurate and precise with the way I achieve my goals. Executing on the field and being a team player made me very successful on and off the field. The next thing that they would put in there would be pictures of my family and friends. I love to chill with my family and friends whenver I’m not playing football or doing school work. Lastly, would be a football with the scripture ” Philippians 4:13″ engraved on it. I value spirituality the most. It has been the biggest influence this far in my life because I feel that it has given me the basis to go through anything that I’m up against. . “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, Philippians 4:13” has been the scripture that has carried and guided me throughout my whole life. I have always been a person that goes above and beyond to do whatever is necessary to help anyone that I can. By looking at these “grave goods”, archaeologists would know that I loved to play football and hang out with my family and friends. To conclude, they would also know that I’m a very loyal and humble young man who is concerned with how others feel before myself.

  8. Marlin Wade says:

    If I were to die today, I believe that the first thing my family would put in my grave with me would be a few gardenia flowers, because those are my favorite type of flower; they are small and simple, but they are still beautiful. Second my family would put in a tiara, because I’ve collected tiaras since I was very little and even though they may not be very extravagant they have always been a part of me. Next there would probably be a cross because of my religious background. Also, my aunt always writes a letter to a person when they die, so she would probably put a letter on pink paper and some pictures in there with me. My family would also make sure that I had on my Pandora bracelet and the necklace that my boyfriend gave me, because they are very special to me. I think that my friends would also bury me with my iPod because it goes everywhere with me. Last my boyfriend would probably bury me with my “Somebody from CNU Loves Me” teddy bear. I think that if future archaeologists looked at what I was buried with they would probably think that I was still a little kid because of my tiara, teddy bear, and flowers. They would probably also think that I was very family oriented because of the letter and the pictures. Also they might think that I’m religious because of the cross. And they might notice my love for music because of the iPod. Lastly the jewelry, tiara, and the pink paper might make them think that I am very girly.

  9. Steele Driskill says:

    When your life is over, imprinted there on the gravestone, will be the date in which you were born and the date of the day you died. But all that really matters is the dash in between. Right? It is that dash that indeed represents your entire body of work as a whole and defines who are you and what you will forever be remembered as. When archaeologists open up my casket and take a peek, I will be certain to have a positive interpretation of the the morality of my being. My relationship with my family is second to none and they mean more to me than anything else known to man. Having said that, I believe they would leave behind a few items to best remember me by. If anyone knows me, they would know that I am as competitive as they come and sports are an integral part of who I am. They would leave behind my Dallas Cowboys pillow and my football without a doubt. Now my friends on the other hand, that’s a different story. I’m sure they would leave a few personalized notes containing some of the humor that we shared amongst ourselves over the years. The friendship I have with some of the guys back home is about as special as it gets. We are a bunch idiots, to say the least. But I wouldn’t change that for the world. Nothing fancy, or over the top would necessarily be thrown in, just a few basic things that mean a lot to me. In conclusion, I believe that anthropologists would gather that I am a rather caring person with a deep sense of inner drive and belief that anything can be accomplished through hard work.

  10. Sarah Smith says:

    My mom would bury me with jewelry, red high heels, and the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. My family is a huge part of my life. There is jewelry that has been passed down for generations that represents our family and how close we are so my mom would bury me with some important pieces to represent that. The red high heels would represent my love of shoes and my favorite color which is red. The movie would represent the fun-loving relationship I have with my mom. It’s our favorite girly movie and no matter how many times we watch it we laugh. My friends from high school would bury me with any form of Victorian literature, a t-shirt with my high school name on it, and chocolate. Even though I have changed my mind a million times my two best friends from high school always knew I was going to be an English major. They know Victorian literature (specifically poerty) is my favorite! They would definately outs some poems and maybe Jane Eyre with me. Also I was very spirited back in high school I played a lot of sports, managed a lot of sports, and more sporting events than my GPA could handle. They would probably put pom poms in there event though I was not a cheerleader. My two best friends always make fun of my for my chocolate obessession, they don’t understand how someone can consume so much chocolate in one sitting so it is a given that they would send me off with chocolate. My college friends would bury me with the Panamanian flag, running shoes, and a CNU field hockey t-shirt. I am Panamanian, and the fild hockey girls call me Panama. The flag would represent my bond with them and of course my roots. The running shoes would also represent my bond with my team. We are unfied through struggle and that struggle would be the countless times we have to run. We run to make ourselves better, we run because our teammates make a mistake, and we run because we love CNU field hockey! The t-shirt would also represent me being a part of the team and my bond with the girls.

  11. Hannah Barton says:

    If my family and friends had to bury me I think that the first thing my mom would put in my grave is the blanket that I have had since I was a baby. When I was younger I would refuse to go anywhere without the blanket I affectionately name “favorite.” My dad would put my cell phone in my grave because he loves to joke that it’s attached to me at all times. My sister would bury me with a picture of my childhood dog because she knows how important Tess was to me. My boyfriend would bury me with a banana Slurpee because that is what he brings me every time I am sick or upset about something. He and my parents would also bury me with my Kindle because they know how much time I spend reading. My best friends would put in my Alabama football t-shirt because we always make a point to watch football together when they come home on weekends. Lastly my friends and family would include pictures of all of our memorable times together at the beach, football games, and high school. I believe that if archeologist were to go through the belongings placed in my grave they would interpret that I am extremely attached to my family and friends, and understand how much of an impact the people in my life have had on me.

  12. Ashley Emanuele says:

    Honestly, I actually plan to be cremated so grave goods may not apply to my death. However, if I do end up being buried, I still would not plan on be buried with anything because material items aren’t very important to me. I would only wish that I was buried in a descent outfit so my decomposed body was not absolutely disgusting to look at when future anthropologists dig me up. If I absolutely had to be buried with at least one thing, I would want to be buried with a fully charged Verizon cell phone, and another fully charged battery. With my luck I would be that one person other people make dramatic movies about, who wakes up buried eight feet in the ground with no way to get out. It has to be a Verizon phone because apparently if I was buried with my cell phone, I would end up dying due to the fact that T-Mobile’s service sucks!

  13. Candice Zollars says:

    I could imagine that my family would probably put pictures of us in the grave with me because I’m a big family person. My mom might put something involving softball in there as well since I’ve played softball my whole life. My sister would put a picture of just the two of us in the grave because my sister and I are have a close relationship with one another. My friends from home would most likely put silly pictures that we took together in the grave. My friends from school would put things with Captains Softball on it and probably a team picture of all of us. My bestfriend, Ashleigh, would be the one person that would put silly pictures of us because we are always joking around with each other and doing crazy and pointless things.

  14. Dan Matarazzo says:

    If my family were to bury me, the first item they would put with me is a football. Football has been a constant throughout my entire life, and has brought me closer to my dad and my friends by sharing that similar passion. Another personal item they would bury would be my favorite movie, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. All my family and friends know this is my favorite movie and is pretty close to my sense of humor and how I see life. A picture of my closest friends and family and me would be placed in my coffin last. The significance of it being placed last is that nothing is more important to me then the people closest to me. I want the last tangible memory of me on this Earth is to be with them. These three personalities seem to be the strongest I possess and have carried with me from when I was little to today in college. They represent some of the things that I value most in society: sports, good times, and friends.

  15. Laura Ott says:

    First of all, my family and close friends would know better than to put me in a casket and bury me; I am very claustrophobic and being buried alive is pretty much one of my biggest fears. But, if they were to bury me anyways :(, I think they would place a few items in there with me. They would definitely put a few pictures in there, pictures of my immediate family, close friends, my dogs, and the beach. These are my favorite things in the world. I also think somebody would include my hairbrush because anybody who knows me well knows that my hairbrush goes everywhere with me. Lastly, I am a very cold person and am usually bundled up in a Snuggie or blanket, so hopefully somebody would remember that and throw something in there to keep me warm and comfy. 🙂
    Future archeologists would probably interpret the hairbrush in such a way that predicts I was very feminine and/or concerned with beauty. This wouldn’t be right though, I just can’t stand tangled hair! They would probably think by looking at the pictures that I am close to my immediate family, love my dogs, and love my close friends, which is all true. The blanket, they would probably interpret as being a special blanket that my great grandma made for me or something significant like that, doubt they’d guess the real reason it was there.

  16. Nicole Mitchell says:

    Its hard to imagine I am dead.
    The first thing I would be buried with is my Nike basketball shoes. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tossed in a Redskins jersey, My CNU final four ring, my pink stuffed animal (named Razz) and my Bible.

    Basketball is a huge part of my life, my team is my family. I probably have my basketball shoes on more than I do my regular shoes. My final four ring is important to me because it represents a journey I went on with my basketball “family” to persevere over adversity and eventually end up as one of the top teams in the nation. The Redskins are my team, not sure if I’ve missed a games since I was like 8. My Bible, is very important to me due to my faith as a Christian.

    First, an Anthropologist would easily be able to tell I went to Christopher Newport because of my ring. Maybe they could guess that either I’m smart for going to one of the cheapest instate colleges or not wealthy for choosing to go here. They could infer I am an athlete and the type of life I lived as a collegiate athlete. From the ring they could also guess the basketball team/me works hard.

    My worn down Nike’s will insinuate the amount of time I spent playing basketball. This could also tell them I spend a lot of time with my basketball team or other basketball players.

    The Redskin’s jersey will tell them I am from around D.C. They will be able to tell I am passionate about the Skins. Maybe because I like football they can predict I have many guy friends.

    Im not exactly sure what they could guess from Razz. Maybe that I have great taste in the cutest stuffed animals.

    The Bible will tell them I love God and attempted to follow His word.

  17. Christine Wielkopolski says:

    If my family and friends were to bury me, I can imagine that they would put several different items that symbolize and represent who am I, the wonderful times I have had, and the different things I have been fortunate enough to experience. I can imagine my parents burying me with a pair of sneakers and my horseback riding boots. Running is my hearts passion and I cannot go two days without running. I have been horseback riding since I was seven years old. Riding is also another one of my passions. I am very family oriented so I would want to be buried with pictures of my family both immediate and non-immediate. I would imagine that my friends would put pictures of our great times together.

  18. Chelsea Henderson says:

    If I were buried, there would only be a handful of items that my family and friends would include in the casket. The first would be my cross necklace and perhaps a Bible. I love the Lord and anyone who knows me knows that my faith is a high priority in my life. Another item that may be included would be something representing my dog Caper. We adopted him from the SPCA almost two years ago and since then he has been another member of our family. We hadn’t had him long before I left for school, so it’s still tough when I’m not home. Other things include family pictures or baby pictures, and I’m almost certain that something involving politics and the democratic party would be included, as I am interested in politics and participate in Young Democrats. Those items represent the most prominent aspects of my life, so I’m almost positive they would make the cut.

  19. Nadia Qasimi says:

    I have honestly never thought of what I would want buried with me when I die, if anything. I feel like it would be pointless and would much rather have my personal items kept by a loved one so they could remember me, but if I had to choose I would start off with pictures of my family and friends. I would also want to be buried with my Ecuadorian shot glass because my family, best friend and I went there this past summer and it represents good memories as well as my background since my mom’s from there. I also would want my high school class ring to be buried with me because it was made specifically for me and it represents my “awkward years” and I feel like they helped me become who I am today. I wouldn’t want my burial to be completely depressing so I would hope my family and friends would put in items that aren’t as sentimental. For example, I would want my Britney Spears concert shirt to be buried with me because it was the first concert I went to and for some reason I love her. I’m also crazy about Chipotle. I could probably eat there for every meal and as a joke I would want something that represents Chipotle to be buried with me.

  20. Hollie Reid says:

    If I were to die and my family and friends were preparing to bury me, I think that it would be hard for them to express our individual relationships with material items. Although I love shopping and having nice things, none of the things I own really define me as a person, nor the relationships I have with those I love. Reminders of certain events that I have experienced with my friends and family are the closest material items that would signify the relationships I have with them. My dad would probably put a copy of my high school diploma, or something representative of CNU with me because he is very proud of my grades and education. My best friend Angie would probably choose pictures of us from high school and college that represent all the spontaneous things we did, such as getting our first tattoos and “borrowing” our friends giant lifted truck and taking it for a ride through town. My boyfriend would probably put items like our plane tickets to Florida from when we took our first vacation together, or our tickets to Disney World, games, movies, concerts, etc. If I were to pick something that I wanted to be buried with me, I think I would simply choose pictures of me with each of the people I care about, rather than material items that they had given me or that reminded me of them. Unfortunately, these items wouldn’t give archaeologist’s much to work with when trying to interpret my life. They would know about my education, but not why I, or my father value it so much. They would see pictures of my best friend and I doing silly things, but not know the stories behind them that made them so memorable. Archaeologist’s would think that I liked taking vacations, or was really into sports based on the tickets that my boyfriend would put in, but the reason those mean so much is because who I was with, not where I was. As for the pictures I would put in my grave, archaeologist’s would see the important people in my life, but wouldn’t understand the relationships I had with them. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Redskins fan, I love all my Tiffany’s jewelry, and my favorite possession is probably my down comforter, but none of those items are representative of who I am and my relationships with those I love. I think that “grave goods” can be helpful to archaeologist’s when analyzing the culture of a population, but not necessarily when trying to get a better understanding of an individual’s life.

  21. grace valentine says:

    If my loved ones were to have to bury me, I believe as a whole my family would put something in together, however if they were to put things in individually they would be the fallowing. My family would most likely put a piece of my jewelry that they know I love, like my diamond earrings my Dad got me for Christmas one year. That would most likely be my Moms idea. Also a picture of the family, my Dad would probably initiate that item being put in there because he and I both enjoy photography and take pictures everywhere we go. Also they would probably put flowers, my Dad and brothers would all want do that. For every birthday or Valentine’s Day (because my family and I celebrate Valentine’s Day since our last name IS Valentine) since I was little he has gotten me flowers, so I believe they would want to include flowers as well. Other material goods such as clothing, electronics, and other things would not be what my family would be interested in putting in my grave. They would go with the more sentimental and meaningful items that they know I would cherish. My friends I believe would put pictures of us so that I could always have the good times we have shared. I don’t think they would put a lot of material goods either because they are not of vital importance to me. My close friends and I just enjoy having fun together and I think that pictures of us sharing memories would express that well. Considering what I think my loved ones would bury me with are not very materialistic archaeologists may have a difficult time interpreting the items. They would probably assume that family and I were close and not into a lot of material goods, rather things of importance and the loved we shared. They would also pick up on the fact that I liked to enjoy my time with my friends and that we had a lot of fun together, laughed alot, and shared many fond memories with eachother.

  22. Stephen Denuel says:

    Since I am really into Football, I’m sure my family will put items in my grave that will represent different seasons I had such as a game ball or cleats. Along with those physical items, I’m sure pictures that mean something to my family will be tossed in my grave. My girlfriend will probably put something special to us in there such as different tickets to events we have gone to, or different pictures of us. These items each have meaning to us and, even though it might be hard for archaeologists to tell the meaning or the story behind each item. Although they might be able to tell I played sports and had a loving family, the meaning and significance to each item will be hard to figure out.

  23. Melanie McDaniel says:

    I think my family and friends would really have to think about what tangible things to put in a grave with me. I am an outdoorsy, family girl, not about material items you could put in a box. I think they would get creative; a jar of water from the lake I grew up on, sand from my favorite beach, branches from my favorite forest. The material things that may depict me would be an Arrowhead necklace with my birthstone that my mom gave me when I moved away, my very first blanket that was handmade for me, and a picture of the family.This question is hard because the things that describe me are things they can’t touch. I may have to send out an email and see what they all say, because now I’m curious. An archeologist might describe me as someone who was cared about because of the blanket. Maybe they would think the necklace had a far different meaning, however if I were buried at home there is a natural landscape of a huge arrowhead in the mountain, hence the town name Lake Arrowhead, hence the Arrowhead necklace, so an archeologist would know where I came from, and could draw the conclusion that home was important to me. It is a very interesting thing to think about, and I feel it would be very hard to picture someone’s life based on stuff, because you do not really know what that stuff meant to that person.

  24. Jackie Gomez says:

    If my family and friends had to bury me ((hopefully not because I’m claustrophobic!)), I know that they truly would NOT put my stuff in a grave and would much rather keep and cherish them. But “hypothetically” the first thing my parents might put in my grave would be my tennis racquet. Tennis is my passion and I spend a lot of my time playing it and they’ve enjoyed coming to my matches. My parents might also put in a Puerto Rican and Dominican flag because my family is proud of our culture. Also, they might put a Carmelo Anthony Knicks jersey because he is my favorite basketball player and happens to be on my favorite team. Maybe even a football because I love to watch football. I have customized jewelry that I wear everyday and each piece means something different to me so they would also put those in. My friends would probably put pictures of us together having a good time together. Oh… and another thing my parents would put in would be my green & gold pom-poms and my Bethel Tennis uniform because I am a PROUD BETHEL BRUIN and they know how much I miss my high school ='(.. . If archaeologists were to dig me up, they’d just see that I was a Hispanic female who cherished her culture, went to High school in Hampton, liked to hang out and have fun with my friends, played tennis and loved sports. However, some of these things mean more to me than any archaelogist could “imagine”.

  25. Caitlin Blalock says:

    If my parents were to bury me, my mom would probably bury the scrapbook that I made her for mother’s day when I was 12. Each year I add at least two pages to the scrapbook. The scrapbook represents our relationship from the silly pictures to the motherly pictures, where she is teaching me to cook. My dad would put in car keys because car rides after dinner is a tradition we have. After dinner my dad and I go on car rides to the local coffee shop and debate or discuss current and moral issues. My grandmother would put in her miraculous medal because she taught me about God and the Catholic faith. My Grandmother was extremely devout and her loving actions inspire me to be a better person. Anthropologist would probably infer that family is very important to me.

  26. Alex Stamnas says:

    To be honest I’ve never considered what individual items tend to define me as a person. My preference would be that any items my family associated particularly with me, I would want them to keep close to themselves. I feel that it would be more important and meaningful for them to have things to remember me by then have those items buried with me. However, I imagine that my family and friends might have a slightly difficult time figuring out what to bury me with because I feel that a variety of different things define me as a person. I know for sure they would bury me with several pieces of my favorite sheet music. Music has always been a major part of my life, and I have played piano since I was six years old. Playing is an incredible stress reliever for me and I have been known to disappear for hours on my piano. I also am in love with reading. I imagine that my family would bury me with a number of my books that I have read over the years. Also, I think and would hope that my family and friends would bury me with plenty of pictures of my loved ones. I love keeping photos of all the incredible memories and experiences I’ve had over the years close to me. I have collages of all my favorite pictures all over my room and they make me smile every time I look at them. In addition, I think that my parents would include the journey pendant I received for my 16th birthday. The necklace is all sapphires because my birthday is in September and I think they would take comfort in the metaphor that the journey pendant provides. I hope that anyone who might discover these items years from now will realize the close relationships I had with many people and that I loved them very much. I think they would also discern that music was a very important part of my life and who I was as a person. I would want them to know that I was a very happy person who laughed a lot and was lucky enough to have so many unique opportunities and experiences.

  27. Adin Katz says:

    If I were to die and be buried by my friends and family there is no doubt that many of the items would give a keen insight into the type of person that I was. My mother would probably bury me with a pillow she gave me when I was little and would have nightmares, she would tell me “you cant have bad dreams when you use this pillow”. My father would probably bury me certain bits of sports equipment because he had so much involvement during my athletic career as a child. My grandmother would bury me with my Eagle Scout badge because she told me that she has never been more proud of me than at that moment. As for my friends I feel as though some of the items would hold meaning only between us. My two closest friends Andrew and Matt would bury me with my soccer jersey because we played together for 13 years and also a CD full of the greatest hits of Queen, and The Beatles. If a future archaeologist were to find these items he might infer about my life that I was a relatively fit, athletic boy, that completed certain rituals deserving of merit (eagle badge), and that I had excellent taste in music.

  28. Ashley Short says:

    If my family and friends were to bury me, the one thing they’d all agree on burying me with, is my iPod. It’s the one thing that I’m rarely never without. My mom would probably bury me with the string of pearls she gave me when I turned 18. My siblings would bury me with the postcards with make for my grandparents that have group pictures of us being ridiculous. My friends would bury me with my purse, loaded with everything that is usually in it. My purse is a ‘mom bag’. I have everything from band-aids to nail polish. If archaeologists were to interpret items, my love of music would be apparent. I have so much music on my ipod and its very varied. With the postcards, they could probably figure out what I look like, and infer that the two are related. However, the postcards, in conjunction with my purse, I wouldn’t be surprised if they thought I was a mom. My siblings are a lot younger, so that can be misconstrued into them being my children, instead of my brother and sister. Archaeologists may associate my pearls with social status, most likely they’d be able to rule out that I was impoverished. So if you put the items together, you could infer that I am a young mother of two kids who loves music and is at least middle class.

  29. Erin King says:

    If my family were to bury me with personal items, I think they would have a hard time deciding what to place in the ground versus hold to remember. My parents would probably put my favorite picture of my horse, as well as an old weighted horse shoe I have had in my room for a long time. My parents and I have bonded through the horse world, and I think they would want me to have something that used to comfort me in real life. My sisters, because we sing a lot together, would probably place my favorite sheet music. I love spending time outdoors, so I would not be surprised if some sort of symbol for nature or the sun was placed with me. If Archeologists found my grave, I think that they would infer that I like simple, earth motivated things. They would assume that I worked or cared for horses, which suggests a calm personality. Also, they could assume that the culture I lived in had domesticated animals. Anthropologists could also infer that I enjoyed music, and that our culture had a written music theory. My grave might not be a key discovery into what the culture was like, however it would be filled with things I value in my life.

  30. Monica Figueroa-Roman says:

    It is something sad to think about if my family had to bury. I think if they had to bury me the first thing that they would put in my grave are pictures. I have so many people that are so important to me so a little representation that I could have with me of those important people would be pictures of my family, my friends and my animals. I would think they would put one of my dog’s toys in as well since she is the first dog that I ever got that is mine and she is always playing with her toys. Another thing would be some of the prizes that I have won riding horses especially the ribbon I won at nationals. That would represent my horse competition world and the best achievement I have made so far. They would also put something that would represent my country like a map or something that represents my Hispanic culture. They would also put some jewelry because I wear it every day especially something pink because that is my favorite color. And I think they would bury me with some cute shoes because I love shoes. I also like music a lot so I think they would bury me with my iPod. It is hard to think of what could represent me in a grave but the things I have said are my best guess to what my loved ones would put in my grave.

    I think future archeologists would interpret my ‘grave goods’ as a pretty good representation of the person I am. They would find that I am from another country and from the pictures they would find that family and friends are very important to me. I think they would know that like animals since I would have a dog’s toy, pictures of my animals, and a ribbon from competing my horse. They also might conclude that I was a female since I would have cute shoes and pink jewelry with me.

  31. Ashley Doerner says:

    If my family and my friends had to bury me, the first thing my mom and dad would put in my grave with me would be my running medals and a pair of running shoes. Running is a big part of my life, as I have run cross country and track for the past 6 years. The second thing they would put in my grave with me would be a stuffed Siamese cat since I love my two Siamese cats very much. I have a passion for animals and all of my friends know how much important my pets are to me. My friends know that I love to travel since my dad is an airline pilot so they would put some of my souvenirs from Europe in my grave. They would also put pictures of me with them and with my family since they know how much I value my friendships. By looking at these items in my grave, archeologists would know that I cared for my family, friends, and cats a lot. They would be able to tell that I had a very close relationship with my family and friends. They may also interpret that I was athletic since my running valuables were placed in my grave.

  32. Shanice Williams says:

    If I were to pass away my parents would bury with me pictures of my friends, family, and dog because they are very important to me, and I couldn’t function without them. Next they would probably bury my macbook with me because I am so attached to my computer. I go everywhere with it and its like my life. Third they would bury my cell phone with me because I go everywhere with that too. When I don’t have it around I feel like my entire life is shut away from the world. Lastly, they would probably bury some food with me; doesn’t matter what kind just something. I’m a big fan a food and love to eat everything and try new things. Probably from all this archaeologists would infer that I came from a technological age, family was very important, and I was well fed–so they may think I was fat.

  33. Stephen Clark says:

    If my parents were to bury me, then they would have to put my basketball shoes along with all the medals i won. I also think they would leave me with pictures and other memories that would remind them of me. My parents know that basketball was a huge part of my life and something i really enjoyed. Through my enjoyment, they loved watching me play and they respected everything i did. They also know that i love keeping pictures with close friends and family members. This is something i enjoy doing on a regular basis. If an archaeologist were too look at my grave i think they would classify me as an athlete. They would notice my shoes and all the medals/awards i won . They also would see pictures of my family and friends. They would probably indicate that i am someone who loved his personal things and what exactly mattered most to him.

  34. Mercedes Chapa says:

    Different cultures have ways of honoring those that have passed. Having been raised in a Roman Catholic family has alot to do with the items that would be placed in my grave. My family and friends would put a cross and rosary my mother made especially for each of her children as the first items, considering they have the utmost value to my family. Secondly my siblings would most likely put a letter on the back of a painted heart with their names on it. The tradition of putting letters with loved one that have passed away has been a tradition passed down for generations in my family. I had a passion for traveling, my family would place pictures of the memories I have traveling around the world. There would also be pictures of birthdays, holidays, sports, vacations, celebrations depicting the amazing times I had throughout my life with my friends and family. The last thing my family would include in my grave would be my ipod. Music means alot to me its a way to connnect with other people. Music has always played a major role in my life. My family knows im constantly dancing and singing, there is never a moment that I can just sit still with out anything playing in the background. My parents would have a traditional barriel with an ordained preast saying that last prayers. On my casket would be tulips and sunflowers, they are my favorite flowers and my parents say they symbolize my personality. My grave may not specifially describe what my culture was like, yet it would definitly tell a storey about what I valued most in life.

  35. Well I hope that my family would know me well enough to know what my favorite things are. They would probably bury me with my camera and some pictures, since i’m a photo major. Also maybe some of my small everyday things that I cherish like my ipod, some jewelry, etc.

  36. Holly Laube says:

    I personally would not want anything that would cost people money in my grave, burials are expensive enough. The following can be passed on to my friends and family to put into my grave just in case they forget. To start something funny like a book because I love laughing more than anything in this world. After that a picture so when I am found they know what I looked like and there is no guessing game like in current time. Lastly my phone it seems to be part of my right hand now so it would only be right for it to get a break with me.

  37. Gail Martin says:

    If I died, I would want to be buried with my dog’s collar because she and all animals are very important to me. I also want them to leave on my purple ring that was a Mother’s Day present and has great sentemental value to me. Other than those items they can chose what they want since I’m not materialistic and don’t believe I’m there anyway. I’m not one of those people that believes you live in the grave and therefore decorate it. But, rather I believe you move on to another place and only your shell resides there.

  38. curtis mayo says:

    if i were to die today, my family world first bury me with the bible because it was the Word of God that was first installed in me as a child. The word speaks of coming into this world as a child and leaving this world as a child. Then one thinks How? One is born a child, grows into a adult, grows old and weary and cannot do for self and is then returned to the state of a child and then proceeds to die. Sorry to get off topic but my family would then also proceed to bury me sports things such as trophies and degrees and accomplishments ive progressed in overtime. And sadly but surely my father would then bury his heart with me. As i have always been a daddys boy. We would be together no matter what.

  39. My family would not mourn me because I have made it clear that that is against my wishes. Whenever my time is up, I would like them to have fun and party. Celebrate my life, not feel hurt over it. My family would likely bury me with a few music albums mainly reggae and classic rock, sports items, one of my puppies toys, and dress me in a flashy outfit. My family would speak of my generosity and my ambitious attitude towards life. They would leave out the mistakes i’ve made and celebrate the positive aspects of my life.

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