Mystery crosses

(Puzzle 032)

Can you identify these crosses?

Unknown grave markers

mystery cross
Y-shaped arms

mystery crossTrident-shaped arms

mystery cross
(Click photo to enlarge)

mystery cross
(Click photo to enlarge)

forked cross
Forked Cross

trident cross
Trident Cross

An investigator in southern Serbia discovered these grave stones in a cemetery, possibly dating from the 17-19th century, next to the ruins of an old church near the town of Raska. The local residents could not identify the nationality of the deceased for certain, and guesses ranged from Roman, Austrian or Austro-Hungarian.

Four Y-shaped cross arms create a symbol with eight points, and eight is a common Christian symbol for baptism and regeneration. The triple forks produce twelve points, making reference to the discipleship of Jesus. Both concepts are perfect for a grave marker.

Even though cross arms with two or three 'points' are common in Christianity, the arms are usually much broader than the stick-like arms of these crosses. One reason might be because the carver wanted to do the work quickly, easily and cheaply.

But that is doubtful.

There are over 30 grave markers in the area and most of them have similar markings. The lines of the crosses are straight and the V-grooves are clean. More significantly, the precision of the curve around the Omega show these carvings were not done in haste. We feel these symbols have some special significance.

If you can identify either or both of these symbols, please email us with your thoughts.

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