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Donaldson Monument

These three turtles are the only use I have seen for the creature in funerary art. Stories in Stone, which has a pretty thorough listing of meanings for funerary art, theorizes that turtles don’t have a strong symbolic meaning in most funerary art. He states they are probably usually decorative rather than symbolic. Still, he continues by stating that turtles certainly could be interpreted in many ways. In this case, I find it interesting that the turtles are supporting a large flower urn, which seems reminiscent of mythologies that place the entire world on the back of a turtle. Why did the Donaldsons choose the turtles? I can’t really say.

Donaldson Monument

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