Proposed features/historic=tombstone

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Proposal status: Proposed (under way)
Proposed by: Michalfabik
Tagging: historic=tombstone
Applies to: node
Definition: use this tag for tombstones

Drafted on: 2017-04-10
RFC start: 2017-04-10


It is proposed that historic=tombstone be used for tombstones that are prominent in their own right and are not necessarily parts of graves or tombs, for example after having been moved to another location, when the grave itself is no longer present/recognizable or when the grave is not of mapping interest.


This is mainly intended for the stećci, tombstones of the medieval pre-Islamic civilization in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina and parts of neighbouring countries. As of now, there is no universally accepted way of tagging them. Current examples and attempts include historic=monument+name=Stećci, historic=rune_stone, historic=archaeological_site+name=stećak, historic=memorial+memorial=stecak, tourism=attraction+name=stečci and other variations.

Other uses include Jewish tombstones that have been salvaged during or after the Second World War when the graves/graveyards in questions were destroyed, and that have since been placed in synagogue yards, open air museums, parks and similar.

The stećci are the subject of historical research and cataloguing efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighbouring countries as well as important landmarks and tourist attractions.

Tombstones in general can be of interest in historical research.


Thousands in Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighbouring countries, estimated tens up to a few hundred in central Europe, rare isolated cases elsewhere.



Useful combinations

Why other tags are unsuitable


  • A tombstone is not a "structure where people have been buried".
  • A tombstone might have been moved away from the tomb.


  • Tombstones are not necessarily found in cemeteries.
  • While many of the stećci are located on top of graves, this is not always the case. The practice of removing the stećci from their original location and using them for other purposes (ceremonial, decorative etc.) is documented to be centuries old and in modern times they can be found in open air museums or on display on prominent city squares. Furthermore, the stećci occupy the whole area of the grave in question, which makes it impossible to easily determine whether there is a grave underneath the stećak or whether the stećak has been moved to a secondary location. Lastly, in most cases the graves are poorly (if at all) researched and it is questionable whether they qualify as significant tombs.


  • Cenothaphs are often built on prominent or honorary locations to commemorate people who have been buried elsewhere. In contrast, tombstones are made to mark actual graves, even if they later end up on another location.

Applies to



A suitable stylized gravestone icon, on hiking or specialized maps only.

External Discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.