Haoxuan Xu, Jon Bryan Burley, Pat Crawford, Robert Schutzki



Cross-Cultural Ordination Of Burial Sites

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landscape architecture, environmental design, fengshui, Taoism, picturesque


Burial grounds, as one of the most important landscape settings that connect the living and the dead, can often represent culture, tradition, and aesthetic representation of a local community; therefore, understanding the similarities and differences among the burial sites can help people understand the culture and tradition of places behind the burial sites. This research examines the similarities and differences among different Western and Chinese burial sites, including Pere Lachaise in Paris, three municipal cemeteries in Michigan, USA, three public cemeteries in Shanghai, China, two Chinese imperial tombs in Nanjing, China, and two rural ancestral burial grounds in Jiangsu, China. Cluster Analysis with Principal Component Analysis is applied to this research. Eighty-seven significant variables are used for the calculation of Cluster Analysis. Six meaningful latent principal components were discovered further analysis. The first two principal components are used as primary dimensions for burial site comparisons. The result shows that principal component 1 can be used to compare sites along a softscape/hardscape dimension and principal component 2 expresses the level of fengshui elements in the site. And the research further suggests the three public cemeteries in Shanghai are culturally integrated fusion cemeteries that inherit traditional Chinese philosophies and adopt Western influences.

Cite this paper

Haoxuan Xu, Jon Bryan Burley, Pat Crawford, Robert Schutzki. (2017) Cross-Cultural Ordination Of Burial Sites. International Journal of Cultural Heritage, 2, 92-104