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Source Image: PR305_05_19 of Relief Sarcophagus (1) of Aphrodisias: Sarcophagi

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Description

Detail of the front of a relief sarcophagus.

Monument
Aphrodisias: Sarcophagi 
Monument Part
Relief Sarcophagus (1) 
Monument Type
Sarcophagus 
Material(s)
Aphrodisian marble (Visual identification)  
Date
circa ad 120 - circa ad 250 
Keywords
Zeus/JupiterRelief 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
Roughed work with the point chisel is visible on the head of this figure, around his left hand, and down the right side of the staff.

2. Toolmarks

Process
Rough shaping
Tool
Tooth Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Medium
Description
The staff is worked with the tooth chisel and there are some marks of the tooth chisel on the face of the figure, but not all over it.

3. - Toolmarks

Process
Fine shaping
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
The skin of figure's torso and arms are worked with the flat chisel, as is the drapery hanging over his left arm.

3. - Toolmarks

Process
Fine shaping
Tool
Roundel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Gentle
Description
A slightly round-headed chisel was also used alongside the flat chisel on the figure's arm and torso.

4. Toolmarks

Process
Flattening
Tool
Flat Chisel
Method
Angle: Shallow (40-50°)
Force: Medium
Description
The background is fairly roughly flattened with the flat chisel.

Notes

On this sarcophagus the progression of tool types is especially clear and varies across its surface. On the face of this figure the carver used the point chisel to rough it out, then the tooth chisel a little on the face. The staff too was worked with the point and then the tooth chisel. Work on both of these elements stopped at this stage. On the hand and body of the figure, however, point chiselling seems to have been followed directly by flat chiselling. The tooth chisel, in other words, was used but the carver did not progress uniformly from point, through tooth, to flat chisel. Interestingly this carver also decided to work the background with the flat chisel when it is more often flattened with the tooth chisel at Aphrodisias. Even if this feature is not typical at the site, this flexibility of tool usage is characteristic of Aphrodisian carving.

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