Exploring Stylistic Variations in Cemetery Gravestones: A Study of Symbolism, Beliefs, and Society Exploring the Evolution of Fashion Styles and Gender Preferences over Time


Overview of Assignment #1
*Please note that the due date for this assignment is Saturday, March 30th, by 5:00pm! No late submissions will be accepted.
When I organized the on-line class, I thought it would be best (and help you the most) if our assignment this semester was related to your final Research Paper. Consequently, our assignment draws upon our investigation of Stylistic Seriation and applies it to gravestone markers (the topic of your final paper).
Over the next two weeks I want you to make at least two visits to a local cemetery. I would imagine that you should attempt to spend at least 90 minutes during each visit. In an effort to help you with your time, I did not upload any power point lectures for the second class meeting of Week 3 OR the first class meeting of Week 4. Below you will find the 3 components that I would like you to address for this assignment. I imagine that the overall length would (at minimum 5 pages (not including photos: See Below). Grammar an is highly looked upon and will be graded strictly. You must follow all sections. 3 Components for Your Assignment
Section 1: During your first visit to the cemetery, I want you to walk around and observe the gravestone markers. Take a moment to absorb the cemetery and the many variations of the tombstones. For this section, I want you to identify and document as many stylistic differences as possible. To do so, you will need to look at individual markers very closely. You will be surprised at all of the differences (large and small). For example, you may notice that gravestone markers vary in height, type of stone, the quantity of information provided, and/or the presence of religious symbolism. These are just a few. I imagine you should be able to come up with at least 20 or 30 observations. You can write these as bullet point sentences/comments. This section does not need to be in paragraph form. I imagine this section will require at least one page. Also, I would like you to provide about 5 photos taken from your phone. Maybe you can hold your notebook in front of one of the photos to show me you that were there ?
Section 2: Maybe relating to your second visit? I want you to select one specific observation that was of particular interest. You will then prepare a one or two paragraph write-up that explains why you chose this particular style/attribute (why it interested you). I then want you to write an additional one to two paragraphs that discuss/examine the important information that this “style” might provide! In other words, this particular style might allow us to examine an individual’s religious belief and the overall importance of religion in the community (based on the quantity of religious symbolism in the cemetery). Or, a particular style may indicate an individual’s perceived wealth and/or general affluence of a given society. PLEASE NOTE: I do NOT want you to use religious symbolism for this project (i.e., crosses or the Star of David). It is much too common and I will use it as an example for the Section #3 requirements.
Section 3: Identify all the stylistic variations you observed for the specific style/attribute you selected (Section #2). For example (and remember…do NOT use/select the following example), if you were interested in the use of religious symbols/crosses on the gravestones, you would then document all of the different approaches used in the rendering of the crosses. You would comment that some are mounted atop the gravestone, engraved in a vertical style, engraved in a slanted style, painted on, rendered horizontally on flat stones, etc. Provide as many stylistic variations of your chosen topic as possible. This will serve as the foundation for your research question that you will develop later in the course! AND…be sure to document the following information for each gravestone:
1) Name of individual (presumed sex)
2) Date of Birth
3) Date of Death
By providing this information, you may be able to identify how styles changed over time and even identify a particular preference/correlation with sex/gender.
MY roadmap will be uploaded below as a pdf as well as my notes:



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