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I've got a corpse in my fort spreading miasma. I build a casket, placed it, designated it as open to citizens, and almost all dwarfs have the burial skill enabled. It has a description of "This is the resting place of Olon Toraltubul", which is the name on the corpse. Why is the corpse still laying around?

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Dorfs don't much like handling rotting friends and family members—if they're already spreading miasma, it's a bit late to set up a proper burial to avoid miasma. Always build tombs and coffins before the first casualty. –  SevenSidedDie Nov 14 '12 at 18:07
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5 Answers

Check your job list in the manager. Burial is pretty low-priority. If your dwarves have many labors enabled, they may be choosing multiple other jobs before burial, since they pick jobs not in first-come first-served order but by looking at all available jobs and picking the highest priority one. Too many high priority jobs and your smaller tasks will get pushed aside.

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I had this same problem, but I had 3 bodies, 5 caskets, 8 idlers, and no names had been applied to any of the graves. My fortress was beginning to have some serious ghost problems, and I was about to create a repeat of this question, but I figured it out so I'll post for other noobs.

May I please emphasis this part of the question: "Designated it as open to citizens."

You have to go to use q to interact with the coffin, and hit b to use it for Burial. You can then use settings for allowing citizens or pets. You can also use the q menu on a coffin to make a room a tomb.

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Also, as of more recent versions, dwarves won't bury their dead in refuse stockpiles. You need to make a corpse stockpile.

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The question ask specifically about a casket, not a refuse/corpse stockpile. –  Jupotter Jul 13 '12 at 6:22
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Being tossed into a stockpile doesn't really count as burial. –  kotekzot Jul 13 '12 at 13:33
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Make sure you have dwarves with the burial labor enabled, otherwise none of them will get the job to move the body to the casket. It's advisable to leave this labor on for all non-critical dwarves.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

It sometimes takes a while for dwarfs to get around to burying their dead. The corpse eventually got moved to the casket.

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Sometimes, it takes a while for Dwarves to do anything. There really needs to be a "seriously, stop carrying barrels around AND DO THIS ONE THING" button. –  DRK Jul 15 '10 at 6:14
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@DRK there sort of is, at least for this specific circumstance: disable all other skills except burial. –  antony.trupe Jul 24 '10 at 16:22
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Yeah @antony.trupe's got the right idea, or at least disable the hauling skill –  BigStuuu Jul 13 '12 at 7:19
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