Grave marker

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This gallery gives an overview of grave markers and related sub-categories. For each, there is a description here and and at least one example reference picture.

This page is meant to help users categorizing images of graves. The categorization scheme 'Grave markers' is part of the Commons: Category scheme memorials, and gives documentation for Category: Grave markers and its sub-categories.

A grave marker is any permanent monument which marks a grave for the dead. The vast majority are external. The most common internal marker is the Christian church monument for which see below.


Gravestones are the most common form of grave marker: Upright (also called a Headstone) or flat slabs of inscribed stone.

Simple headstone Elaborate headstone Double headstone Cuboid gravestone Flat graveslab
NimmoGrave.JPG 2007 Teicha 12.jpg Double grave.JPG 2008-06 Kleinjena 05.jpg Arthur Hoffmann Gravestone.jpg

Other shapes[edit]

Grave columns[edit]

Columns or broken columns, the symbol of a life cut-short.

Full-height column Broken column
Leo Juliusz grob.JPG Prince Hall grave.jpg

Grave crosses[edit]

The most popular of Christian motifs.

Simple cross Elaborate cross Celtic cross
Evelynwoodgrave.jpg Albany Rural Cemetery 23.jpg Davidson.JPG

Grave obelisks[edit]

Tall, narrow, usually four-sided, tapering monuments ending in a small pyramidal top, some in imitation of Egyptian obelisks.

Simple obelisk Stumpy obelisk Elaborate obelisk
Seattle - Lake View Cemetery - Blethen family plot.jpg Graf.Alexander.Hamilton.jpg Andrew-johnson-grave-01.jpg

Grave stars[edit]

The Star of David is the most popular of Jewish symbols.

Grave star
Romagne-sous-Montfaucon - unknown Jewish soldier.jpg

External tomb chests[edit]

Tomb-style chests, sometimes called table tombs or altar tombs. They are monuments, not tombs, as the body is beneath the chest rather than within it.

Simple tomb chest Elaborate tomb chest
Grave of William Shipley, founder of the RSA 0725.JPG Table Tomb at St Margaret's Church, Ifield (IoE Code 363398).jpg

Grave sculptures[edit]

A variety of sculptures, usually in stone: Statues, effigies, busts and reliefs.

Angel sculpture Religious sculpture Secular sculpture Grave statue Grave bust Grave relief
Hauptfriedhof Karlsruhe - Engel Grab Wagner.jpg Oxford, Indiana cemetery statue.png Ullstein-Thorak-Mutter Erde fec.jpg Csortos Gyula sírja.jpg Lillie Langtry grave St Saviour Jersey.jpg Sam Houston Grave.jpg

Bronze grave sculptures[edit]

A variety of sculptures in bronze: Statues, effigies, busts and reliefs. These are not necessarily solid bronze. Particularly in Germany and surrounding areas, they may be plaster electroplated with bronze, generally called 'Galvanoplastik'.

Angel sculpture Religious sculpture Grave statue Grave bust Grave relief
Friedhof Schoeneberg III Angel.jpg Luisenfriedhof I - Christus Grab Haesel und Zeidler.jpg DeWitt-Clinton-at-Green-Wood.jpg WolgangKirchbach+Meyer-Pyritz+FriedhofLichterfelde.jpg Paraffin Young grave (1).jpg

Church monuments[edit]

Church monuments are architectural or sculptural memorials to dead persons within a Christian place of worship or funerary building. They come in many shapes and forms. Wall mounted versions and those with effigies are probably the best known. The grave is usually beneath the monument or nearby, or occasionally within it. However, they can also be cenotaphs. For details, see the Church monuments gallery.

See Church monuments
NORBURY,DERBYSHIRE Nicholas Fitzherbert.jpg

Funerary monuments in Islamic mausoleums[edit]

Architectural or sculptural memorials to dead persons within an Islamic funerary building.

Islamic monument

Regionally specific grave markers[edit]

Grave lanterns[edit]

Japanese stone lanterns.

Grave lantern
Jochi-ji-stone lantern.jpg


The 'five-ringed tower' Japanese grave columns.


Grave orbs[edit]

A grave orb is a Scandinavian petrosphere used in the Nordic Iron Age.

Grave orb
Grave orb.jpg


A Hungarian funerary sculpture. In origin, it was a jousting lance stuck in the ground as a grave monument.


Other materials[edit]

Wooden grave markers[edit]

Grave markers made of wood.

Wooden grave marker

Metal grave markers[edit]

Iron grave markers[edit]

Grave markers made of iron. Often made by the local blacksmith.

Iron grave marker
Hailsham 08.JPG

Bronze grave markers[edit]

Grave markers made of bronze, including the sculpure sub-category above.

Bronze grave marker
Elvis' tomb.jpg

Grave markers by country[edit]

The main categorization scheme is repeated wholly or partially with its country qualification beneath Grave markers by country categories, such as Grave markers in Germany.

Grave markers by occupant[edit]

Some graves can be categorized by the rank or occupation of the person or people within the grave, such as Gravestones to people by occupation.