The anvil gravestone pictured above is a near perfect carving of an actual anvil. It accurately portrays all of the main parts of the anvil, including the level top called the “face” which is depicted with a block of metal and a hammer laying on top. At the posterior is the “Hardy hole“, which is used by metalsmiths for bending and punching. The other end shows the “horn” or rounded part of the tool, with a notch cut between the horn and the face called the “step.”
Anvils have been used for thousands of years and have appeared in literature as early as 800 B.C. in Homer’s Iliad:
“He [Hephaestus] cast durable bronze onto fire, and tin,/Precious gold and sliver. Then he positioned/His enormous anvil up on its block/And grasped his mighty hammer/In one hand, and in the other his tongs./He made a shield first, heavy and huge, /Every inch of it intricately designed./He threw a triple rim around it, glittering/Like lightening, and he made the strap silver.”
Just as a blacksmith uses an anvil to bend and shape metal into objects, the anvil is a symbol of universe being forged and created. Searches on the Internet also list the anvil as a symbol of martydom.
Of course, it can also mark the grave of a blacksmith.