Death and Mortality

Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, Tennessee

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.


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