This Wednesday, an iconography lecture was held in the library by Kim Sowles who was an expert in the area of burial marker iconography. She detailedly discussed the history and characteristics of the gravestones in the New England region.
“Gravestones are time machines. They help you to transport to the past. You could know about people’s lives, cultures, and believes at that time.” Kim Sowles said at the beginning of her speech. In the New England region, most residents were Puritans. Their belief is clearly revealed on their gravestones. Many gravestones contained figures or symbols of wings and angels, which meant dead people would ascend to heaven. In addition, symbols of anchors meant hope and candlesticks meant continuous life also occurred on gravestones frequently. Sometimes, gravestones also can tell people about a person’s job. For example, if someone was a sailor, there probably would be a ship carved on his gravestone. In general, it is a good way for people to know about a person or the local society through those gravestones.
At the end of the speech, Kim Sowles appealed to “Protect and Preserve” gravestones, since most of them are even hundred-year-old. We, the students, also should pay more attention to protect these sites as a member of the community.