Although exhumations are widely considered taboo or sacrilege in most countries and cultures that bury their dead there are certain situations that result in bodies being exhumed and UK Headstones being disturbed. If for example, there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a person the police may try and get the body exhumed for further investigations and to try and determine the cause of death.
In some cultures, graves are opened after a certain period of death. Southern China exhumes a body after a period of so many years and the bones are removed, cleaned and dried. They are then placed in either a ceramic pot for reburial or in a smaller coffin which can then be taken home by the rest of the family.
Remains may be moved if the cemetery in question is being located somewhere else, this would only occur after local planning and religious requirements have been met. In some rare cases exhumation may occur to help with the study of dissection, gibbeting or posthumous execution like Oliver Cromwell.
Many notable individuals have been exhumed to help with study and for public display; the most prominent of these figures are mummies from Ancient Egypt. In Hong Kong where property is at a premium, government run cemeteries exhume burials after 6 years under an order. The remains are then either privately collected for cremation or reburied in an urn or a niche.
Jewish Law forbids the exhumation of a corpse and other cultures continue to have differences and conflict regarding exhumation rules.