Rising or Setting Sun


Here lies the body of


Who departed this life

Oct. 19th, 1792.

in the 87th Year of her age

The gray slate gravestone in the Burying Point, the oldest burying ground in the City of Salem, Massachusetts, features the incised design of a sun. The anthropomorphic sun in this case has two eyes peeking forward.

It is always difficult to look at a design like this and know whether the sun is setting or rising. The setting sun represents death—darkness. If the sun is a rising sun it represents Christ’s resurrection.


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