Sickness and Death

Coffin Shaped Monuments, Perry County Tennessee

Concrete Monuments
Image courtesy David Donahue. See more at his Perry County, Tennessee Cemeteries
Website under Powell Branch, Matthews.

Coffin Shaped Monuments

These two (perhaps concrete) monuments (pictured above) take the shape of standard coffins. They would date approximately to the mid-1800s. The monuments (pictured below) appear to be made of stone slabs.
Note the similarity to the ancient sarcophagus, which was a coffin made of limestone. The Greek word “sarkophagos” means literally, “flesh-eating stone.” The sarcophagus contains the body of the deceased, while a monument built above an “in earth” interment (grave) perhaps should not be referred to as a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus came in different forms from coffin shaped to box shaped. The term sarcophagus has been applied to coffins built of other materials, such as wood; but the original meaning of the word “flesh-eating stone” would certainly not apply to wood.

Stockton Coffin Shaped Monuments
Stockton Cemetery, Missouri
See large image (100k)

       Coffin Shaped Monuments, Old Baptist Graveyard, Pelham, Grundy County Tennessee (View I), (View II).
    John Wilkinson, 1769-1830; Eleanor Wilkinson, 1785-1848; John Andrew Wilkinson, 1838-1848. Coffin-shaped ledger stones have tabs on the ends to maintain alignment with head and footstones (most, however, are broken off).
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