Gravestone Epitaphs & Iconography

In this five-part series Dr. Anne Mason, Executive Director of the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, provides an introduction to popular 18th- and 19th-century gravestone motifs visible on Burial Hill. Carved symbols and inscriptions reveal religious beliefs, cultural attitudes, and perspectives on death.

For photographs of the gravestones highlighted in these videos, click here.

Continue learning about this topic in Plymouth’s Oak Grove Cemetery. View Executive Director Anne Mason’s tour from May 2, 2020 below.


Get outside and explore on your own! Download our gravestone iconography scavenger hunt and see if you can find all of the symbols in your local cemetery! Click here for a printable PDF.

Gravestone Iconography Scavenger Hunt