Grave monuments are memorials that mark gravesites. They can be simple or elaborate and serve several purposes. Some grave monuments are decorative, while others offer practical functions like protecting grave markers from water damage. Some of them may also include the deceased's name, date of death, and other personal information about them.
Here are six reasons why people use grave monuments:
1. Grave Decoration
Grave decorations are grave markers that have decorations or designs on them. Grave decorations can be found worldwide and are usually used to honor a person's life, such as through images of leaves, flowers, or other symbols.
Memorialization is honoring someone who has passed away by using grave monuments for their grave marker. The grave monument itself will typically include words or images that tell the story of their life. Families will gather at gravesites and talk about how much their family members meant to them while laying flowers, lighting candles, or blowing out a birthday cake.
3. Marking the Grave
Grave monuments mark the location of graves for visitors, family members, and other interested individuals who wish to visit a gravesite. This can also help prevent the grave from being lost or forgotten over time. In this context, the monuments are used to keep gravesites from being vandalized.
This is especially relevant in cases where the grave contains a famous individual, such as an author, politician, or other people who may have made some form of significant contribution and influence within society. Mainly, grave markers are designed with more durable materials that will not easily chip.
4. Monumental Sculpture Artworks
Monumental sculpture artwork is an artistic use for grave monuments, whereby grave markers are used as works of art to uplift and celebrate someone's life after death with carvings, reliefs, or bas-relief figures on them. Many famous monumental sculptures have been created all over the world.
5. Historical Record Keeping
Grave monuments are used to keep a record of information about people who have passed away, especially those in history or important figures. Grave markers are also used to keep track of the family lineage by including names and dates on grave marker memorials.
6. Part of Religious Beliefs
Some religious beliefs state that grave monuments help guide spirits back to their grave after death. Thus, monuments are used in many religions to mark sacred or holy places, especially when saints and other important figures die. Their work is to help guide the spirits of the dead back to where they belong.
The purpose of grave monuments has changed over time. Initially, they served to mark the site where someone was buried and protect against body snatchers who would dig up graves for medical research or other purposes. Nowadays, many people use them as a form of decoration, among other reasons.