Volume 49, Issue 5 (September 2004)
Cremation Weights in East Tennessee?
In spite of increasing number of cremations in the U.S., little is known about weights of cremated remains. This research was undertaken in order to add to the limited literature on cremains weights and to explore variation. Weights of cremated remains were obtained from the East Tennessee Crematorium. The sample consists of 151 males and 155 females. Age, sex, and race were obtained for each individual. Males are about 1000 g heavier than females. Both sexes lose weight with age, but females lose weight at about twice the rate of males. East Tennessee cremation weights were compared with those from Florida reported by Warren and Maples, and those from Southern California reported by Sonek. East Tennessee results were also compared with an earlier study on ash weight of anatomical human skeletons carried out by Trotter and Hixon. East Tennessee cremations weigh about 500 g more than the samples from Florida and California, and about the same as the earlier anatomical samples. We hypothesize that variation reflects variation in body weight and activity. This variation must be taken into account when cremation weights are at issue.