…or at least 3 things we never knew!
Halloween is almost upon us and that makes us think of the work we have done on headstones, monuments and mausoleums. Our president, Paul Bunis, recently attended a lecture about Historic Cemetery Documentation and Mortuary Art put on by the Gravestone Girls, out of Worcester, MA. The lecture focused on art symbolism plus fascinating facts about cemetery construction and design from Colonial times through the present. The following are Paul’s top 3 notables from the lecture:
1. What I found most interesting were burial traditions from colonial times. Did you know that during this time, you were buried with a head stone and a foot stone, facing east? The significance of the headstone and footstone, were to emulate a bed, hence, the expression, “resting place.”
2. The significance of being buried facing the east was that at sunrise on judgement day, the angel Gabriel would appear with his trumpet sounding to wake up and summon you for judgement and ultimately, home. Prior to this, I had no idea that there was any significance to the manner in which burial grounds were arranged. I came to know that over time, based on a wide variety of factors relevant to popular culture of these periods, burial traditions were greatly affected.
3. I also learned about Mausoleums. The word derives from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (near modern-day Bodrum in Turkey), the grave of King Mausolus, the Persian satrap of Caria, whose large tomb was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The idea behind a mausoleum, was to not be forgotten after you had passed. By creating a significant monument to oneself and family was a way of reminding people of your importance in life, even after you had departed.
We have had the honor of working on several headstone and mausolea over the years. I enjoy working on historic pieces as well as present day markers. Here are a few samples of our monuments work>