What are old tombstones made of?


Quick Answer

The earliest discovered tombstones were crafted out of wood as well as naturally occurring rock, typically common fieldstone, and were marked by a carving of the departed's name, age, and year of death. Although the headstone has become more complex over time, the concept remains largely unchanged.

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Full Answer

The tombstone was originally conceived as a method to prevent the dead from rising, and did not become associated with the memorialization of the deceased until the mid-17th century. It was around this time that rectangular slabs of slate or sandstone became the norm for the crafting of gravestones and remained so until the 20th century. Today, a number of materials are used, including granite, metal, marble and limestone.

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