Exploring The Symbolism Of Images On Tombstones

Men and women of various religions worldwide take part in the technique of marking graves with a tombstone. These markers are generally manufactured of granite or maybe some other durable stone and are available in a broad range of shapes and sizes. Most gravestones are engraved with the name of the person buried in the grave and his or her dates of birth and death.


It is common for tombstones to include prayers, sayings, poems, or perhaps photographs which have some special definition to the person buried there. During the 1700s, traditional symbols of death, like urns, winged cherub heads, and winged skulls were included by simple decorations. By the 19th century, styles became much more varied and ranged from simple stone with just the minimum amount of carving to elaborately decorated pieces that incorporated multiple photos and also a picture of the deceased.

Photos of animals are preferred for funerary art and each one has its own symbolic meaning. Birds, for instance, symbolize the soul while swallows are symbols of motherhood. Salvation as the bearer of the lost soul to heaven is represented by dolphins. Grabsteingravur show up on many children’s gravestones since innocence is represented by them.

A variety of plants and flowers in addition have unique meanings when included in funerary art. Ivy stands for undying faithfulness and friendship. An olive branch is symbolic of calmness and forgiveness. Oak leaves as well as forests are symbols of strength and the poppy stands for eternal sleep at night.

In many cases, the structure belongs to a profession or some additional affiliation. Many sailors’ gravestones bear the impression of an anchor, and that is also symbolic of life that is eternal and hope. A cannon or other type of artillery generally indicates that the deceased was interested in military service. The headstone for just a minister or maybe clergyman can sometimes include an e-book representing the bible. When the e-book is open, it is a sign of an open mind or heart. When closed, the book typically symbolizes a life which is finished. The gravestone of an entertainer can include a carving of comedy and tragedy masks, the traditional symbol of theater.

Modern grave head stones are widely varied ranging from conventional to contemporary designs. Many graves are marked with figures representing pop culture as well as reflecting the special interests of the deceased. Clear plastic screen boxes may include things that the deceased used in life. These could come with some athletic shoes for a professional athlete, drumsticks for a musician, and a mixing bowl, recipe book, and then spoon for a chef.

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