Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sunken Graves after 100 Years


I'm just back from a fantastic holiday in Broken Hill, Burra, and Adelaide.  Amazing industrial heritage...  fascinating places...  big skies...  Libby and I had a great trip.  I don't think that I got a real understanding of the outback, however, because of all the rain they've been having in the last year....

One fascinating effect, however, has been the crazy appearance of historic cemeteries in Broken Hill, Burra, and the surrounding area.  I dragged Libby to cemeteries all over...  mostly to see the types of monuments and the longevity of various stones (and particularly of Mintaro slate...  but that's another story)...  and everywhere it was the same.  Deep sharp-sided coffin-shaped sunken graves all over.  What's amazing is that these are historic graves...  1870s...  1920s...  right up to recent ones...  they are collapsed all over.  The council workers or cemetery staff at Broken Hill had a mountain of blue metal and were clearly trying to make the place safe...  but it was bizarre.


The coffin shape, which is very foreign to North American eyes (havng been switched for rectangular caskets 50 or 100 years ago), can be clearly seen.


Above: a newly sunken grave beside the oldest monument at Broken Hill cemetery!



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