"With the advent of the Bronze Age -- 2500 to 1000 B.C. -- cremation history moved into the British Isles and into what is now Spain and Portugal. Cemeteries for cremation developed in Hungary and northern Italy, spreading to northern Europe and even Ireland. In the Mycenaean Age -- circa 1000 B.C. -- the history cremation became an integral part of the elaborate Grecian burial custom." (Cremation History). By the time of Homer in 800 B.C., cremation turned out to be one of the most dominant modes of disposition and it became popular for reasons of health and expedient burial of slain warriors. Cremation was widely practiced during the time of the Roman Empire, i.e. 27 B.C. to 395 A.D. and the elaborate cremation urns containing cremated remains were found from this period.
During the middle ages, cremation was forbidden by law all through Europe and it was used as a means of punishment for heretics by authorities. However, there were cases of mass cremations which were performed out of necessity during the times of contagious diseases, war etc.