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Author Topic: What Happened To Martin's Tomb?  (Read 738 times)

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Maudie

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Re: What Happened To Martin's Tomb?
« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2017, 03:09:43 AM »

On the subject of graveyards, well, it isn’t a given that they’d run out of space. To be blunt, humans and animals are organic matter and a quick google search shows that it takes about 8-12 years for an unprotected human body buried underground to decompose to just a skeleton, and about 50 years for it to decompose altogether. Assuming that Redwall animals are about human size then it would be about 200 seasons for one to decompose completely. Of course, in real life small woodland animals decompose a lot more quickly than humans. Honestly, in the real world animals die quite plentifully and while it isn’t abnormal to encounter the body of a dead animal, it’s not like we’re seeing them littering the ground with no extra space. In the world of Redwall animals are likely not any more numerous that they are in this one, and there are no humans to take up even more space. Assuming they didn’t make a concentrated effort to bury every Abbey beast on Abbey grounds, there would be plenty of room for the corpses to decompose with little worry of cluttering up the ground.

Also, speaking of Martin’s tomb, I kind of noticed a pattern with the Redwall books. As they evolved and the nature of the Redwall world changed, Brian would often simply ignore the out of place elements in the developing books, almost as though they had never happened. While I don’t think Brian would have gone back and changed those original books, I do think he was carrying on with his world as though certain elements from them had never existed. My guess is that’s what he did with Martin’s tomb. I personally would have loved to explore that further, as well as Abbess Germaine’s tomb, the attics, the belltower, and the whole Kotir-is-built-under-Redwall thing. I really enjoyed the elements that he did touch on again and give some sort of history and resolution, like Brockhall and St. Ninians. Perhaps if he had been able to write more books in the series he would have revisited some of those less touched on locations.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 03:11:53 AM by Maudie »
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Grond

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Re: What Happened To Martin's Tomb?
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2017, 01:49:52 AM »

On the subject of graveyards, well, it isn’t a given that they’d run out of space. To be blunt, humans and animals are organic matter and a quick google search shows that it takes about 8-12 years for an unprotected human body buried underground to decompose to just a skeleton, and about 50 years for it to decompose altogether. Assuming that Redwall animals are about human size then it would be about 200 seasons for one to decompose completely. Of course, in real life small woodland animals decompose a lot more quickly than humans. Honestly, in the real world animals die quite plentifully and while it isn’t abnormal to encounter the body of a dead animal, it’s not like we’re seeing them littering the ground with no extra space. In the world of Redwall animals are likely not any more numerous that they are in this one, and there are no humans to take up even more space. Assuming they didn’t make a concentrated effort to bury every Abbey beast on Abbey grounds, there would be plenty of room for the corpses to decompose with little worry of cluttering up the ground.

Also, speaking of Martin’s tomb, I kind of noticed a pattern with the Redwall books. As they evolved and the nature of the Redwall world changed, Brian would often simply ignore the out of place elements in the developing books, almost as though they had never happened. While I don’t think Brian would have gone back and changed those original books, I do think he was carrying on with his world as though certain elements from them had never existed. My guess is that’s what he did with Martin’s tomb. I personally would have loved to explore that further, as well as Abbess Germaine’s tomb, the attics, the belltower, and the whole Kotir-is-built-under-Redwall thing. I really enjoyed the elements that he did touch on again and give some sort of history and resolution, like Brockhall and St. Ninians. Perhaps if he had been able to write more books in the series he would have revisited some of those less touched on locations.

The rate at which bodies or especially bones decompose underground can vary a lot and 50 years for a skeleton to completely decompose seems a bit short (unless there isn't ground seepage of salt water, or water in general into the grave). As it is not uncommon for archeologists to unearth human bones that are centuries or even millennia old.

But that aside, any kind of body be it human or animal will be broken down much quickly above ground than below ground. This is one of the reasons you don't see dead animals all over the place. Bodies decompose much more quickly in an oxygen rich environment i.e. above ground than in one with less of it. Plus flies/maggots. Finally scavengers play a big role to when bodies are out in the open. However animal densities, generally speaking, are also much lower than human pop. densities. Given that Redwallers are sedentary and do bury their dead it is unlikely that they would leave the corpses just laying around in Mossflower. Also most settled societies generally practice burial or cremation because it stops the spread of diseases. Which becomes a huge concern when you have a large population concentrated in a relatively small area. Can you imagine if human corpses where just left in a city's streets for instance? Hunter and gatherer or nomadic societies where more likely to just leave the corpses in the open (because they have a lower population and are spread over a large area) plus the idea of going back to nature is in tune with more nature based religions. The mortuary and religious practices of some groups of pre contact American Indians come to mind for instance...
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