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.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Reynolds, Patrisha, "Temporal trends in grave marker attributes an analysis of headstones in Florida" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1339.