Since before the early Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations, mankind has embraced the concept of building a tomb to hold and honor the deceased. The word "mausoleum" itself dates back to 353 BC, meaning "the tomb of Mausolus," king of Caria, at Halicarnassus (Turkey), known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Throughout the ages, from the Egyptian pyramids to the Taj Mahal, to America's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, many people have preferred the dignity, prestige and respect of above-ground entombment. Mausoleums provide the most complete and secure protection. Until recently, they have been available only to royalty, the rich and the famous. Now, people who can afford a traditional earth burial can afford entombment in a mausoleum.