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Stories in Stone
     

Stories in Stone

3.5 4
by Douglas Keister
 

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Certain symbols abound in modern Western culture that are instantly recognizable: the cross signifies Christianity, the six-pointed Star of David is revered by Jews, the golden arches frequently means it's time for lunch. Other symbols, however, require a bit of decoding-particularly those found in cemeteries.

Cemeteries are virtual encyclopedias of

Overview

Certain symbols abound in modern Western culture that are instantly recognizable: the cross signifies Christianity, the six-pointed Star of David is revered by Jews, the golden arches frequently means it's time for lunch. Other symbols, however, require a bit of decoding-particularly those found in cemeteries.

Cemeteries are virtual encyclopedias of symbolism. Engravings on tombstones, mausoleums and memorials tell us just about everything there is to know about a person- date of birth and death as well as religion, ethnicity, occupation, community interests, and much more. In the fascinating new book Stories in Stone: The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism by noted author Douglas Keister, the secrets of cemetery symbolism are finally revealed. For instance, did you know that it is quite rare to see a sunflower on a tombstone? Did you know that the human foot symbolizes humility and service since it consistently touches the earth? Or the humble sheaf of wheat-while it is often used to denote someone who has lived a long and fruitful life, do you know other meanings it might carry?

Stories in Stone provides history along with images of a wide variety of common and not-so-common cemetery symbols, and offers an in-depth examination of stone relics and the personal and intimate details they display-flora and fauna, religious icons, society symbols, and final impressions of how the deceased wished to be remembered. Douglas Keister has created a practical field guide that is compact and portable, perfect for those interested in family histories and genealogical research, and is the only book of its kind that unlocks the language of symbols in a comprehensive and easy-to-understand manner.

Douglas Keister has photographed fourteen award-winning, critically acclaimed books (including Red Tile Style: America's Spanish Revival Architecture, The Bungalow: America's Arts & Crafts Home, and Storybook Style: America's Whimsical Homes of the Twenties) earning him the title "America's most noted photographer of historic architecture." He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to other books, calendars, posters, and greeting cards. Doug lives in Chico, California, and travels frequently to photograph and lecture on historic architecture and photography.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423611004
Publisher:
Smith, Gibbs Publisher
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
705,456
File size:
28 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

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Stories in Stone 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some information is fascinating, especially if one is interested in religious/mythological imagery and knows the surrounding theologies/philosophies/written texts. The book's visual images provide a gradual step towards one's ability to decode pictorial messages at various levels, including classical arts and architecture, equipping interested readers with basic, not too complex tools of appropriately detecting, decoding and applying these "talking" images to various -- not only funeral-- settings. Funeral texts are as old as humanity's search for immortality embodied in the the ancient pyramids, as well as in the Egyptian funeral imagery/texts in the Book of the Dead and Pyramid Texts. One should read this book while properly relating its messages to a larger and much older context. It would be definitely illuminating to accompany this book by also reading the Book of the Dead, Pyramid Texts, The Book of the Gates, etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gave as a gift to my Dad who (along with my Mom) always had an interest in old graveyards and gravestones. Bought it online, and my Dad has been absorbed in the book ever since receiving. While visiting I picked it up to peruse and could not put it down either. Lots of very interesting information and little known facts about design and concepts used in monuments throughout the world, and some great stories about how people honor their loved ones in stone. Made me want to explore some graveyards in the future!
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MerryOne More than 1 year ago
I have long been fascinated by the imagery on tombstones and other funereal monuments, so I was happy to find this book. The research is very thorough and covers many eras of stone carving and decoration. The pictures in thes book are clear and illustrate the author's work very well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In fact, I bought a second copy to give to a friend who is a funeral director and he enjoyed it too.
maryangela More than 1 year ago
I conduct tours in two historical cemeteries in Savannah, Ga. This book has been a great source of information and has allowed me to share the symbolism of the stonework with so many visitors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't let a stonecarver produce a headstone or mausoleum for your loved one before you review this book. Reading this will allow you to be able to honor your loved one's life and/or express your sentiments about your loved one in the artwork/symbolism you choose for your headstone or mausoleum. The illustrations are good and it is written clearly.
MaggieMagee More than 1 year ago
As a writer, I'm always looking for information, inspiration and bits and pieces to use as background. Because character's have history a graveyard is perfect for setting a scene. It provides a common experience and link character to reader. I highly recommend this as a unique mini history lesson, and for fellow writers. Light reading.
lilypod More than 1 year ago
Very informative and interesting. I didn't realize all the symbolism in the graveyard! Photos are lovely, too. I highly recommend this read even if you have only the slightest interest...you will not be disappointed.