Why a tombstone?
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The story of the tombstone
The gravestone, in its most literal form, has been around for thousands of years. Some archaeological sites show that Neanderthals were buried in pits deep in caves.
In those days, tombstones were used to protect the body of the deceased from wild animals. This practice lasts for many years and placing stones above the tomb has become a kind of tradition that has not always been upheld.
Moreover, the superstitious believed that by doing so, they were preventing the dead from coming back to life.
Gravestones: The different appellations
The different names of tombstones
Before being definitely called tombstones, they first went through several names.
However, the name still referred to the gravestone.
For example, at one point, we were talking about funeral monuments. But there are also names that are far removed from the expression, such as "commemorative markers" or "company tombstones" or even "deep double markers" and "tombstones for two".
Gravestones have always been of great importance. Even though the various goals pursued by man in Neanderthal times and today are quite different, the meaning of tombstones is still important.
Headstones today are the best way to honor the missing person by evoking his or her life or status in society on the stele.
However, the tradition has evolved a lot according to the countries and the generations which follow one another. It concerns in particular the form of the tomb, which is more or more dictated by the different customs practiced by the inhabitants.
Among the Japanese, for example, the tradition is that the tombstone is built after the marriage of two people. When one of them dies, it is the other who paints the initials of the deceased in red on the stele.
The concept of the cemetery
At first, the graves were located near the family home. In those days, the materials used were mostly rough stones or wooden markers. The stelae only mentioned the names of the people, the age and year of their death. When the church recognized the burial, it was inscribed in the funeral rite.
Graves and cemeteries have gradually become common practice, whether in or outside the funeral rites of churches. Gravestone monuments were generally square and slender, made of sandstone or slate.