Grave markers represent a significant amount of highly important information related to the cultural patterns of a society, as well as how these patterns have changed over time. Although, cemetery studies are popular in other regions of the United States, few studies regarding grave marker attributes have been conducted in Florida. The purpose of this research was to analyze and interpret temporal and demographic changes in grave marker attributes in Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando, Florida. Another aspect of this research focused on the possible correlation between the age and inferred sex of the deceased individual in relation to the type of epitaph and iconography chosen to represent them in their mortuary context. Data was collected from 925 headstones within Greenwood Cemetery; these headstones further represent 1,102 individuals. Attributes analyzed include marker material, marker type, iconographic images, epitaph, memorial photographs, footstones and curbs. These attributes will be analyzed and compared to trends noted within a similar study conducted by Meyers and Schultz (2016), to allow for better interpretation of trends in grave marker attributes across a range of Florida cemeteries. Results indicate multiple trends. The popularity of marble headstones decreased greatly from 51% in Pre-1900 to only 8% from 2000 to 2017. Furthermore, the prevalence of epitaph and iconography categories vary greatly on both a temporal and demographic basis. Male infants are more likely than any other demographic group to be represented by a genealogical epitaph, at 41% representation. Ultimately, these trends illustrate important aspects of cultural changes related to mortuary practice and individual mortuary contexts within Orlando, Florida.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Orlando (Main) Campus
Length of Campus-only Access
Martin, Erin K., "Trends in Grave Marker Attributes in Greenwood Cemetery: Orlando, Florida" (2018). Honors in the Major Theses. 371.