How to Decipher Worn or Faded Headstones

Have you ever spent hours trawling a cemetery only to find headstones that you can only make out the name on - the other details are too worn or faded?

How can you read that? One option is to take photos from as many angles as possible and hope that adjusting the contrast and colours will reveal the text. That can be out of the reach of many - it get's technical and often needs luck.

Luckily, a French website (Passion Généalogie) has shared a brilliant and simple technique that anyone can try.

Try the Aluminium Foil Method

The Facebook post, which is in French, tells us more or less the following:

How do I decipher unreadable tombstones? Try the aluminum paper technique!

Some headstones are hard to read, thanks to the wear caused by passing time. But if apply aluminium foil to the headstone, the readability is clearly improved.

Just rub the sheet with a wet sponge or a brush (paint or makeup).

This solution is very effective and also respectful of the monument (provided that you do not leave the headstone packed ).

However, it is ephemeral: you will be able to make a picture of the stone "wrapped", but it is unlikely you can keep the print very long on the foil once removed.

The image above is provided along with the Facebook post and is of a headstone in the French province of Lot, which has had this method applied.

Be sure to pop over the original Facebook post and 'like' their work.


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