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Cemetery Symbols: What do Half-Carved Stones Represent?

Interesting name! (photo by Tui Snider)
Interesting name! (photo by Tui Snider)

Cemetery Symbol: Why do these headstones look half-finished?

No, the monument maker didn’t get fed up and quit halfway through the job. When you see a half-carved headstone such as these, it represents the transition from life into death. Additionally, half-carved stones convey the idea that while we may accomplish many things during our time on earth, we have even more to learn and do in the afterlife.

So headstones like these symbolically remind us not to place too much importance on what we do or don’t achieve during our life because we still have much more “polishing” to do as we transition into the afterlife.

In other words, on the soul level, we are still as rough as the uncarved portion of rock. As we transition into the afterlife, that part of us will become as polished and refined as the rest of us.

Rough hewn headstone (photo by Tui Snider)
Half-carved headstone (photo by Tui Snider)

Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism:

I am currently creating a field guide to cemetery symbolism. Each Tuesday, I share a small snippet from my upcoming book. It’s my goal to create a handy-dandy pocket guide for taphophiles, genealogists, ghost hunters, and anyone else interested in the historic graveyard symbols that have become forgotten over the years.

What symbols are you curious about?

Let me know in the comments if there is a certain symbol that you are curious about. Also, if you would like to know when the cemetery symbolism guide is available for purchase, scroll down and sign up for my newsletter! I look forward to hearing from you!

Rough hewn headstone (photo by Tui Snider)
Half-carved headstone (photo by Tui Snider)

Want to read more?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!

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Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!
Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!

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Published inCemeteries & SymbolismHistoric Cemeteries


  1. That’s interesting. I’ve never noticed a half carved headstone.

  2. Tammy Tammy

    Can’t wait for the handy dandy pocket guide. Someone finally understands. Peace and all good things…

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