Preparing for death and an awareness of its inevitability was a preoccupation of 16th and 17th century Christians. Memento mori (“remember thy death”) items served as a reminder to focus not on earthly pleasures or accomplishments but on the afterlife to come.
Ten seal matrices have been found at James Fort, two of which have memento mori motifs.
Seals have a reverse design on them to make a positive impression in sealing wax that would be attached to letters and legal documents. Similar to today’s return address on a letter, the mark left behind would give the recipient an idea of who the sender was before the document was viewed.