The pudridero1 is an interesting phenomenon consisting of - essentially - a temporary tomb into which corpses are placed until sufficiently decayed for long term burial in an ossuary.
Although the periodic "recompressing" of burials into ossuaries is a fairly normal practice, the pudridero is an interesting formalisation of this process, explicitly placing the ossuary as the intended destination rather than somewhere the dead get dumped when space runs out.
One of the more prestigious examples of the type can be found in El Escorial - the great combination palace and monastery of Spain where the dead of the Spanish royal house(s) are prepared for their eventual resting place in the formal mausoleum2.
Obviously use of a pudridero allows the mess and stench of the decay process to occur away from any splendid (and public) place of burial, allows the royal architects more time to prepare a tomb and allows for greater ceremony around the deceased (you can have one performance for the actual death and another for the formal interment, possibly with a wake or deathwatch ongoing in the meantime). For those with a terror of live burial, this is also ideal, leaving zero chance of premature interment. Also, once decayed, the final tomb can be a lot smaller (carefully packed the bones of a human body can all be fitted into a standard archive box). That said, if there are potential problems with bodies going missing or absconding on their own, other measures may be necessary3.
This practice is probably best used on a small scale - a pudridero serving a large community could become unbearable quite rapidly.
Game and Story Use
- An interesting cultural feature to add to a burial site (perhaps using the example of the dunmer family tombs from Morrowind) - a tomb/catacomb/mausoleum with a pudridero or three and then lots and lots of niche burials, with or without urns.