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Source Image: PR223_05_03 of Clipeus Sarcophagus (1) of Ostia: Miscellaneous Sarcophagi

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Description

Detail of clipeus on a sarcophagus from the Castello at Ostia.

Monument
Ostia: Miscellaneous Sarcophagi 
Monument Part
Clipeus Sarcophagus (1) 
Monument Type
Sarcophagus 
Material(s)
Marble (Visual identification)  
Date
ad 200 - ad 350 
Keywords
Nike/VictoryClipeusRelief Sarcophagus  
Collections
Ostia Antica  

Location

Original Location
Ostia 

Evidence for working practices

1. Toolmarks

Process
Roughing-out
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Vertical (90°)
Force: Medium
Description
The central part of the clipeus (central roundel) has been left roughly worked with the point chisel, presumably because it was intended for a portrait or other decorative motif. Other rough carving with the point chisel can be seen in the spaces between the figures of the relief, notably around the Victory on the left.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Rough shaping
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Steep (60-70°)
Force: Medium
Description
The figures have been roughly shaped with the flat chisel. The fact that this finer level of work has only been done on the front of these figures shows that the carver was working from the front plane of the chest into the relief, finishing the details as they went.

3. Toolmarks

Process
Flattening
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Medium
Description
The top of the chest, where the lid would have fitted, and the border of the clipeus has been flattened with the flat chisel. At what stage this was done in the process is unclear.

Notes

The clipeus (central roundel) on this sarcophagus has been left as a rough boss. It was presumably left like this to be carved into a portrait or other detail but for some reason never was. This might because the customer bought it in this condition and decided against having it finished or it might be that it was needed suddenly. The rest of the relief is similarly unfinished which might lend support to the second of these suggestions.

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