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Cremation: History and Modern Process

November 16, 2023 , 6:00pm 7:00pm

old cremation scene

This sweeping review of the history of cremation will take us from humankind’s earliest known cremation—in Australia over 32 thousand years ago—to its impact on modern funeral practices. Along the way, Joan of Arc, Walt Whitman, Mahatma Gandhi, and Whitney Houston will all make appearances in this engaging, lively talk led by funeral director Amy Cunningham in Green-Wood’s Modern Chapel. Afterwards, Gabrielle Gatto, Green-Wood’s coordinator of public programs, will lead a tour of the Cemetery’s crematory retorts to explain how cremation happens today, and the evolution of machinery and process.

Price: Free. Registration required.

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In-Person Event
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Free. Registration required. Please consider a $10 donation to the Green-Wood Historic Fund so that we can continue to offer free and low-cost programs throughout the year.


  • Attendees must follow ALL instructions and guidance from Cemetery staff and ambassadors.
  • Tickets: There is no need to print tickets. Attendees will be checked in by name.
  • Where to go: Contactless check-in will take place at the Modern Chapel near the Main Entrance at Fifth Avenue and 25th Street (500 25th Street).