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Tablets and Headstones
This type is the most popular and frequently encountered grave memorial found in old cemeteries. A variety of materials have been used for this type of memorial, ranging from wood to stone. While there are many shapes and sizes of tablets and headstones, most exhibit a few common features. First, most are not enormous monuments. They tend to be 80 to 100 centimetres in height and vary in thickness from 8 to 20 centimetres. The headstone may be placed by itself in the ground or may be set into a base (e.g., cement) or on top of another grave structure such as a ground ledger. The term "headstone" derives from the position of the stone above the interred corpse's head. Once it was common to use a headstone and a smaller stone a short distance away called the footstone. Footstones were usually made of the same material as the headstone but were much smaller. The footstone was usually inscribed with the initials of the deceased.
Most families could afford even a modest headstone, so it is the most popular style of monument in many of the smaller pioneer cemeteries. Because of size, material and dimensions, headstones are also the most susceptible to vandalism and damage. Vandalism has been so severe that today it is very rare to find an intact 19th century marble tablet, and footstones are almost non-existent.
The following subtypes of Tablet and headstone styles:
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