When loved ones pass on, families want to remember and celebrate their legacies. Since the beginning of time, grave markers and monuments have been popular ways to memorialize ancestors. The following guide provides a history of how these edifices came to be and why they continue to have meaning today.
What to Know About the History of Grave Markers
During prehistoric times, large boulders were placed on top of graves. Back then, people believed these massive stones served as barriers to keep the dead from rising after being buried.
While some cultures still embrace this belief, grave markers evolved to become end-of-life symbols. Stonehenge in England, which dates back more than 2,000 years, is an example of this practice. Researchers believe it may be a burial site with individual markers.
Many cultures honored the deceased not only with headstones, but also with elaborate ceremonies and burial rites. The Egyptians and Chinese were known to include a host of personal possessions in complexly constructed tombs. These structures were marked with monuments that featured the person’s likeness.
As time progressed, markers became less monumental and elaborate. In Europe, for example, simple Christian crosses were made using pieces of available brass, iron, stone, or wood to designate where spouses, children, and other relatives were buried.
What They Mean Today
Headstones in present-day cemeteries around the globe provide a combination of history, honor, and love. Adorned with inscriptions, religious verses, and other writings, these monuments are designed to preserve the deceased’s identity well into the future.
They’re often constructed with stone, marble, or granite. Some include pictures and other personalized details that provide historical context for the person’s life. There are also more styles available than ever, from simple plaques to more elaborate monuments with carvings or sculptures.
Gibney Monument Works in Perry, NY, understands the significance of remembering those who have passed on. It’s why the family-owned company has provided exquisite, customized, and affordable grave markers since 1880. The compassionate and professional artists and staff take the time to listen to their clients. To learn more about their services, call (585) 237-2750 or visit the website.