Coffins come in many shapes and sizes, though, technically, a coffin is a six-sided container or box for burial. A casket is generally understood to have four sides and be rectangular.
The six-sided coffin tombstone found in the Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee, pictured above is tapered to widen around the shoulders and then become narrow around the feet. The coffin-shaped tombstone replicates what many 18th and 19th century coffins looked like. This gravestone is faded and the inscription on the gray-marble inset in the center of the coffin-shaped tombstone is illegible. It is flanked by a headstone and a footstone.
This funerary motif broadcasts its meaning: death and mortality.