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Please take some time to leave behind your favorite book or website you reference when you find a symbol you do not know the meaning for.

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Here are 3 of my favorite books -

Your Guide to Cemetery Research by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack;
Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism & Iconography by Douglas Keister; and
Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents by Douglas Keister

After I added my comment about "Stories in Stone", I see you have already listed it. It is going to be a favorite for me too . . . .N
As Stephanie said, "Stories in Stone". It's small and long, and I keep it in my "graving" bag and bring it with me everywhere. It's a great, colorful reference.
Ancestry Magazine has a great 2 page spread in their September/October 2009 issue devoted to cemetery symbols. Article is Stories Told in Stone. If you get a chance, check it out.
Stephanie I agree, Your Guide to Cemetery Research is one of my favorites as well. Does anyone else have a favorite?
Just bought "Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography" by Douglas Keister. The book is a cross between a pictorial dictionary and and encyclopedia. Lots of photographs to illustrate the definition/topic word. My new word for tonight is "Exedra". Quoted from page 36 -"These monuments are usually shaped like a curved or rectangular bench, but there are also many examples where the bench is straight. The ancient Greeks constructed public shelters known as stoa. In their simplest form, these structures consisted of a colonnade, walled on one side and roofed. At intervals along these shelters were recesses with seats carved into them. The seatting areas were known as exedrae, the Greek word for"out of a seat." These structures were frequently used in gymnasiums and public squares. Curved exedrae in public squares were favorite gathering spots for philosophers and teachers since their students could gather around the conveniently placed seats. In private homes and gardens, exedrae were also used for entertaining and seating guests.
Exedrae soon found their way into Greek burial grounds that lined the highways into the city. . . . .
The exedra was well suited to this setting; its three sided or semicircular form helped define the burial plot and its built-in seating enabled all of the mourners to talk to each other while focusing on the tomb that convieniently, was heaped with food and wine. This arrangement is not unlike a contemporary living room with a conversation pit and a coffee table in the middle."
I don't have a picture to share yet - anyone have a good picture of an exedrae to share?



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