Description: Sarcophagus with Portrait Medallion

Carved as a coffin, this white marble sarcophagus (sar-KOFF-ah-gus) originally included a decorative marble lid, and was intended to house the earthly remains of an upper-class Roman citizen.

The central section of the sarcophagus was personalized with a portrait of the intended occupant, likely after purchase from a workshop.  Whether it ever served that purpose is unknown but holes drilled into the back and left side indicate that it was recycled at some point to serve as a fountain or water trough.

  • Culture: Roman, Imperial Period
  • Created: 250—274 CE 
  • Credit Line: R. T. Miller Fund, 49.72