Abstract

Grave markers reflect a wealth of information and collectively epitomize society's historic, social, and economic patterns over time. Despite an abundance of cemetery research in other parts of the country, little research has been undertaken to evaluate grave marker attributes in Florida. The purpose of this research was to determine how grave marker attributes have changed over time in north-central, central, and southeast Florida. Data were collected from ten cemeteries in five counties in Florida, representing the grave markers of over 1,100 individuals. Data collection involved visiting each cemetery, photographing markers, and cataloging grave marker attributes. Attributes analyzed included marker type, marker material, epitaphs, iconographic images, memorial photographs, footstones, and kerbs. A number of important trends were noted. Marker material exhibited the clearest example of a temporal trend, shifting over time from 73% marble to 73% granite. Marker type varied greatly from upright and flat ground markers to a variety of customized markers and vaults. Cultural differences were also noted with in-ground vaults dominating traditionally black cemeteries. There were clear differences in marker style between affluent and less affluent cemeteries, with numerous hand-cast cement markers observed in less prosperous areas. Furthermore, beginning in the early 1980's there is an increase in customized laser engraved markers. Overall, Florida's cemeteries offer a rich history of the state's mortuary practices and further research should be conducted to preserve this history.

Notes

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Thesis Completion

2012

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Schultz, John J.

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Degree Program

Anthropology

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Format

PDF

Identifier

CFH0004240

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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