This week, in Randy Seaver’s column, Digging For Answers, he tackles the question: How deep must bodies be buried to prevent health problems and/or scavenging?
A: My first off-the-cuff answer was "six feet under" but then I wondered where that term came from. According to the site City of the Silent:
"Six feet under was the depth formerly required by English law. It was intended to ensure that the corpse did not spread the plague or other diseases which might have led to its decease."
A BBC site [no longer active] about the plague of 1665 summarized the rules set by the Lord Mayor of London to limit the outbreak, and included the mandate that all graves should be at least six feet deep.
Be sure to read Randy’s entire article at the Graveyard Rabbits Online Journal.