Roman funerary practices shifted between burning the bodies of the dead (cremation) and burying them intact (inhumation). Graves varied from simple tile-lined holes in the ground to extravagant above-ground monuments rising several storeys high.
For health reasons and out of fear of the spirits of the dead, Romans usually set their cemeteries along the roads outside the city limits. These were carefully landscaped and sometimes even provided with gardens. The great underground Jewish and Christian catacombs, created in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD on the outskirts of Roman cities, evolved into virtual multi-leveled cities of the dead.
the Roman cult of the dead called for a highly elaborate set of rituals. These began with a funeral, which lasted from the moment of death until the final burial ceremony. IN the years following the burial, additional rites were carried out either at the grave site or nearby to honor the memory of the deceased.