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Tombstones, or gravestones, were markers, typically made of stone, that gave vital statistics for the deceased and indicated the spot where they were buried. Sometimes, they were inscribed with a bit more, like some words that commemorated the life — or death — of the individual. The Doctor and his companions encountered many tombstones, typically found in graveyards. Lysette Barclay once explained the purpose of some Stockbridge tombstones to the Lucerian scientist, Professor Rinxo Jabbery: "They mark the final resting places of the dead. They provide a focus for mourning and remembrance." (AUDIO: Plague of the Daleks)
According to the Eleventh Doctor, it was only a matter of time before a time-traveller came across his or her tombstone. (TV: The Name of the Doctor) After finding what appeared to be a monument to himself in the Garden of Fond Memories on Necros, the Sixth Doctor explained to Peri Brown, "Look at it this way. If I were to take you back to Earth after you had died, it would be possible for you to see your own gravestone." (TV: Revelation of the Daleks)
Ben and Polly once made a game of finding the oldest tombstone in a 17th century Cornish graveyard, only to discover that the inscriptions on some of the stones were in fact clues to how to find Avery's gold. (TV: The Smugglers) The Seventh Doctor and Ace encountered the tombstone of Joseph Sundvik in 1943. (TV: The Curse of Fenric) Clara Oswald once explored a graveyard containing a tombstone belonging to a different version of herself. (TV: The Snowmen)