Older cemeteries are visible, tangible links with people who made history — ordinary individuals as well as famous people. The inscriptions on their monuments tell us not only their names and dates, but often where they lived, their occupation and affiliations, the manner of their death, personal traits that survivors held dear, and names of relatives. These inscriptions instruct us about local, medical, and material history, cultural geography, historical archaeology, folklore, genealogy, and much more.

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