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Source Image: PR305_02_10 of Garland Sarcophagus (9) of Aphrodisias: Sarcophagi

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Description

Front of a garland sarcophagus.

Monument
Aphrodisias: Sarcophagi 
Monument Part
Garland Sarcophagus (9) 
Monument Type
Sarcophagus 
Material(s)
Aphrodisian marble (Visual identification)  
Date
circa ad 120 - circa ad 250 
Keywords
PuttoGarlandTabulaRelief BustGarland Sarcophagus  
Collections
Aphrodisias, Site and Museum  

Location

Original Location
Aphrodisias 

Evidence for working practices

1. Toolmarks

Process
Roughing-out
Tool
Point
Method
Angle: Vertical (90°)
Force: Gentle
Description
This garland sarcophagus is more finished than many at Aphrodisias but rough work with the point chisel is still visible on the unfinished heads of the two busts and in areas around the four figures holding up the garland.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Detailing
Tool
Drill
Method
Vertical (90°)
Description
Drill work is visible in the garlands and hanging grapes.

Notes

The portraits on the busts on this sarcophagus were never completed, a common feature of Aphrodisian sarcophagi but also sarcophagi elsewhere. Why this was the case is not known and several theories have been presented. One option is that the commissioner intended to have them completed at a later date, perhaps after their death, but for some reason this never happened. Another option is that they purchased this sarcophagus already finished and did not want or could not afford to have the portraits done. Finally, this might have been a deliberate statement, reflecting a wider belief that it was not appropriate or respectful to have such portraits finished.

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