The History of Headstones and Cemetery Monumentation
The history of headstones is fascinating, with many interesting facts and insights.
From their humble beginnings as small markers to the latest designs and styles, we’ve learned much about them.
The first headstones were small, unpretentious, and straightforward.
They were made of stone, wood, metal, and other materials.
Headstones have evolved to become more ornate and elaborate.
Many different shapes are available today.
Standing stones (also called obelisks) are flat slabs with rounded edges.
Upright slabs (also called plinths).
Grave markers stand on top of the ground.
Monumented headstones sit on top of a bench or wall.
Headstones began to be carved from stone or metal.
The first headstones were carved from stone. It was the only reused material, so it made sense to use it first.
Headstones were also carved from metal at first, but they became more popular when they became cheaper and more durable than stone.
After metal became more popular, tombstones began to be made out of concrete as well.
It was an improvement over previous materials because the concrete was less expensive or fragile like wood or metal had they been used earlier in history (the same way we now have plastic instead of glass).
The popularity of headstones increased with the invention of masonry tombstones.
Masons were skilled craftsmen who built structures like churches and castles, but they also learned how to make mortuary monuments that were durable, attractive, and permanent.
Headstones made with stone or marble generally lasted longer than wooden ones because they rot or decay less quickly.
In addition, rock is more challenging than wood and therefore requires less maintenance (such as painting). These factors contributed to the growing popularity of this style over time—and still do today.
Headstones became more ornate and sculpted as people became more affluent.
As people became more affluent, they began to display their wealth in other ways.
For example, graves were decorated with statues of angels or lions that served as guardians over the deceased.
These animals represent life and death—a reminder that we all must die eventually—and are a symbol of protection for those buried in these tombs.
Headstones began to have elaborate inscriptions, symbols, and designs.
As the population grew, so did the need for headstones. It was when they began to be more ornate, having elaborate inscriptions, symbols, and designs.
In addition, people became more affluent and could afford to have their names engraved on stone with greater detail than before.
Headstones have changed dramatically but remain the ultimate markers for our loved ones.
Headstones are a way to remember our loved ones permanently.
They provide information about the person who has passed on, their life and story, and their burial location, so it’s easy for family members or friends to find them when visiting a cemetery or memorial park.