Tablet Tombstone Shapes of the 18th and 19th Centuries

You can almost identify the general age of a cemetery by the types and styles of the grave markers found on its grounds. On a stroll through any old cemetery you might see many variations of the three-lobed style of tombstone that was widely used during the 18th century and early 19th century. The shape of a tripartite marker mimics the outline of the human body. You can see which parts of the stone represent the head, shoulders, and neck. The arches symbolize a path that lead to Heaven.
Headstones and footstones also resembled a bed, which is a symbol of eternal sleep. To the right is a footstone that is shaped identical to the headstone, only smaller. (Unless otherwise captioned, these photos are from Raleigh’s City Cemetery.)

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