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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Graveyards Cliparts

Gravestones, grave markers tombstones, headstones, memorial tablets and plaques - they all come under the heading of monumental inscriptions. All are tangible evidence of our ancestors. Some bear no more than a name and the date of death. Others have more to offer. Date of birth is frequent as is relationship to another person, such as wife of, relict or widow of, or son/daughter of.

Often, as several people are buried in the same grave, there will be a whole string of connected people listed, some with different surnames, so you can work out quite a good family tree from the information. The actual house or farm where they lived may be inscribed or the military rank they held or their occupation. All extra pieces to fill in the often blank picture of our ancestors.

People of importance and wealth are often commemorated inside the church and in fact many were actually buried inside the church in tombs or vaults and in the crypt (known as the crowde). Stones set in the floor have been worn by centuries of feet passing over them and may therefore be much less legible than those on the walls. The inscriptions on old tombs in the graveyard have suffered far worse in many cases. The weather has affected

even Victorian gravestones, especially those made of the local stone where the entire front may have crumbled and sheared away, leaving no trace of what was carved there. So much depends on the prevailing wind or how sheltered they are.

Graveyards are a house of the dead. Little more needs to be said to send chills down the spine of many people. Death is an instinctual fear that most people have because of their fear the unknown, compound that with religious ideals of the possibility of an eternal tormented afterlife and you can really make someone shake. When a person visits a graveyard they know that everyone who resides in it is dead and is not coming back...

That is, of course, unless you believe that the dead can be risen from the grave. And it seems that many religions and cultures do indeed believe that it is possible.

It is said that ghosts, skeletons, and zombies can be found in graveyards roaming around at night, especially on Halloween night. After all, Halloween is supposed to be the night when the barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is very thin allowing for spirits to return to our world for the night. Graveyards are supposed to be a perfect place for spirits to congregate because so many bodies are placed in them.

Graveyards are a place of rest. They are quiet and calm to a point that bothers many people. Although the majority of people treat graveyards with respect, there are many who find a thrill of walking through them at night, defacing the tombstones, and defiling the grounds.

Many movies have been made that show the dead rising from their graves. Night of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead are two prime examples.

A potter's field is a type of mass graveyard to put the bodies of people who are poor, have no family, or dead who are exhumed to make room for the newly dead. The term comes from the Bible when the silver that Judas cast down just before hanging himself was used to buy a plot of land to bury foreigners. The land was called a potter's field because it was barren and could only be used to gather clay for potters.


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