We have some of the country’s oldest graveyards here in Massachusetts. I found the art of the headstones very interesting. There are obvious fads that come and go. The headstones I’m presenting here are from the 18th and 19th century. I’ve tried to display a wide verity of styles. You can see the trends change about every 20 years and you see the same trends throughout the region.
It is worth mention that these were real people. They settled in an pioneer area, lived through and died in wars. This is part of our heritage and each stone is a national treasure.
Above is a head stone and below is the matching stone at the foot of the grave.
Finally, sadly, these headstones are not going to last for ever. These 18th and 19th century head stones on slate hold up much better than the late 19th and 20th century marble statues. But there were variations in slate quality and many have split and disintegrated with the weather.
I found a couple of useful sites for headstone symbolism:
Symbols on Headstones Demystified
Headstone Icons, Symbols and their Meanings.