"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Cemetery Symbols and Iconography (Image Writing)

Old cemeteries and graveyards, especially those from the 19th century Victorian era, are rich in symbolism. From crosses and angels to plants and animals, each has a special meaning. Though some symbols are up to interpretation, there seems to be a general consensus on most messages. The term "iconology" refers to the study, description, analysis and interpretation of icons.

There are many resources online and in books to help interpret grave site symbols, including this in-depth one that lists symbols alphabetically.  My "In the Arms of Angels" book's chapter 5 "Cemetery Symbology" samples symbols found at Magnolia Cemetery.  And our "Stories Told in Stone" text includes a "Glossary of Common Gravestone Symbols & Interpretations" chapter (pages 71-82).

Listing in Sharon Carmack's "Your Guide To Cemetery Research" 

This Prezi includes an extensive online piece on such symbols and their meanings.

This Prezi can also be viewed by clicking here. 

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