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This article is about an older version of DF.
Materials Workshops Labors

Memorials are buildings which can be built from the build menu under Alt+slab. They are made by an Engraver using an unengraved slab at the craftsdwarf's workshop. Once engraved, they can be built as an alternative to coffins - failure to memorialize or entomb a deceased dwarf may lead to unexpected consequences. If you're having trouble finding which slab you want to place, use x to expand the list and find named or blank slabs.

You can create a memorial hall from a memorial's query menu.

Oddly, it is also possible to engrave memorials to invaders and even forgotten beasts. This can be used to create trophy halls full of goblin skeletons and weapons, or to memorialize a deceased warrior's kill list inside of his tomb.

Memorials apparently do not work for merchants' escorts. You should get their bodies into a coffin.