I live across the street from a cemetery and I’ve often wondered what the purpose of a coffin is.
For example, if a person died in 1875, his or her body, reposing inside a coffin, would be reduced to bone by now. And for the next 500 years, the body would still lie in repose as a pile of bones.
Now, if that same body had been buried without a coffin [ie. directly into the dirt], today the body would still be a pile of bones, albeit probably in a more fragmented state due to insects.
I know that coffins come in handy when cemeteries flood and the bodies pop to the surface, but apart from that, what is the purpose of a coffin?