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Deliberately causing death through the effects of combustion, or effects of exposure to extreme heat, has a long history as a form of capital punishment. Many societies have employed it as an execution method for activities considered criminal such as treason, rebellious actions by slaves, heresy, witchcraft and sexual transgressions, such as incest or homosexuality. The best known type of executions of death by burning is when the condemned is bound to a large wooden stake (this is usually called burning at the stake, or in some cases, auto-da-fé), but other forms of death resulting from exposure to extreme heat are known. For example, pouring substances such as molten metal onto a person (or down their throat or into their ears), as well as enclosing persons within, or attaching them to, metal contraptions subsequently heated. Immersion in a heated liquid as a form of execution is considered distinct from death by burning, and classified as death by boiling.
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