Sunday, May 22, 2011

In Small Things Forgotten

sandstone grave in Newburyport

When I spent a summer in Boston I was happy to visit some of the old burying grounds to see what a college professor was talking about with his theories on the evolution of 18th-century tombstone design. The Granary and King's Chapel and, my favorite, the Old North Burying Ground, have lots of mid-18th-century tombs with their reminders that death is not only part of life, but you can't escape it, even if you want to. The sanitized headstones of the last 200 years are dignified and somber, but these were grim or quirky and sometimes playful.

New Hampshire has some old stones, but you really have to cross the southern border into Mass. to see the good old ones with "death's heads" and well-carved "flying cherubs."

the Crosses, Ralph and Sarah

stairs leading from the river to the Old South Cemetery, Ipswich.



Blogger Angela said...

Alex, what great memories these photos bring back! Remember when we spent all our free-time in the basement lab cleaning artifacts? :)

August 15, 2011 8:57 PM  

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