Front of a garland sarcophagus.
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.