Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What are the different names for grave stones?
The GPR uses the word gravestone to describe the grave monuments it photographs and indexes but there are many synonyms that mean much the same thing. These are often more commonly used in different countries. Thus, for instance, the word cairn is commonly used in Scotland.
Gravestones, particularly ones from the 1800's, often had both headstones and footstones. These denoted both the top and bottom of a grave. A footstone is usually small and just has the initials and year of death of the deceased.
Free standing war memorials are often referred to as cenotaphs and contain lists of these killed during a war. The word cenotaph is derived from the Greek words kenos taphos which means empty tomb. Churches often have similar lists inside the church which are often referred to as a roll of honour.
In ancient times, upright stone slabs were used as funerary or commemorative markers. They would often have decorative carving and sometimes incriptions. These were called either steles or obelisks.
A tomb is a burial vault for the remains of the dead. Tombs will often have shelves where corpses are placed in a process call immurement. It is an alternative to either burial or cremation. Tombs are often for family members.
A mausoleum is a building that contains a number of tombs and are often created for the burial of important people. Perhaps the most famous mausoleums are the pyramids