Headstones and Gravestones

Strolling through one of the most notable cemeteries in Georgia, Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, one may observe headstones as minimalist as a blank marker for an unnamed infant or unknown soldier of the American Civil War.

Other monuments are lavish and complex standing tall over the dead as large sculptures, obelisks, and tombs. Military markers denote duty served and accolades of fallen Confederate soldiers. There are sixteen marked headstones for Union Soldiers among the graves for the Confederacy revealing the complexity of reverence even during wartime (gravsteingrossisten). These military headstones are generally uniform upright marble ellipses and may have a flat marker accompanying at the foot of the burial. Older markers were hand-carved and engraved by skilled artisans. Some are sculpted with the faces of the entombed. Their words may be read as clearly as when the stone was erected, often more than a century ago, or they may have faded away with time. New headstones, typically cut from granite, pepper the grounds as well as Oakland is still an active burial cemetery (https://www.gravsteingrossisten.no/pages/gravstein-trondheim). Most modern headstones are crafted with computer-controlled rotary bits and complex stenciling techniques.

Gravestones, typically referring to the large slabs placed atop a grave, are also common markers. Like standing headstones, their inscriptions range from simple dates and names to longer prose or commentary about the life of the deceased. Older gravestones often appear to be struggling more than headstones to weather the generations as they are under greater pressure from their significant weight at weak points (https://www.gravsteingrossisten.no/pages/gravstein-oslo). Many have cracked and shifted in their placement over the decades and centuries as the ground has moved beneath them. Gravestones are less common for newer burials but are still used especially when matching the style of a previously established plot. A visit to Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia will allow a person to observe many types of headstones and gravestones as well the changing methodology used to create burial monuments.

Headstones and Gravestones