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Source Image: PR223_05_05 of Clipeus Sarcophagus (1) of Ostia: Miscellaneous Sarcophagi

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Description

Detail of the left end of the front of 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
PuttoRelief Sarcophagus  
Collections
Ostia Antica  

Location

Original Location
Ostia 

Evidence for working practices

1. Toolmarks

Process
Squaring
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Vertical (90°)
Force: Gentle
Description
The end of the sarcophagus has been roughly squared with the point chisel but was not carved any further.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Roughing-out
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Vertical (90°)
Force: Medium
Description
The relief decoration of the front side of the chest has been roughed-out with the point chisel. The marks of this stage of work are still visible on the background, which the carver never got around to carving.

3. Toolmarks

Process
Rough shaping
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Steep (60-70°)
Force: Medium
Description
The figure on the right has been roughly shaped with the flat chisel.

4. Toolmarks

Process
Fine shaping
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
Fine working with the flat chisel can be seen on the column and finial on the right. Very little of the design has been worked this carefully and the fact that areas around this are only point chiselled shows that the carver was working into the chest from the front to the back, adding details as they went.

5. Toolmarks

Process
Flattening
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Medium
Description
The border at the top and bottom of the front is flattened with the flat chisel. Whether this was done before or after the rest of the decoration is unclear.

Notes

The relief on this sarcophagus is unfinished suggesting that it was rushed into use or perhaps abandoned because the customer no longer needed it.

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