Permanent Collection Highlights :: Museum Of Cadiz

Male anthropoid sarcophagus

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Photo Description:
Male anthropoid sarcophagus Carved and polished white marble. The piece was originally polychrome. Longitud, 219 cm.; anchura, 81 cm.; altura, 84,5 cm. Punic period (around 400 BC). Origin Roman theatre, Cadiz. Comments The discovery of this magnificent piece led at the time to the setting up of the Archaeological Museum of Cadiz. It represents a mature male figure, with neat hair and a beard, who is holding a pomegranate in his left hand and a painted crown with flowers in his right hand, much of which is missing. The figure is covered by a tunic under which you can see two bare feet. The carving of the stone points to the work of a Greek or very Hellenized Phoenician artist, an expert on the techniques of the great masters of classic art in the 5th century BC. In 1980, the female sarcophagus appeared in Cadiz, but not many anthropoid sarcophaguses of this type exist; others are known of in Sicily and, in particular, in the Lebanese town of Sidon. Most researchers believe that the pieces from Cadiz are imports from the Eastern Mediterranean or from the South of Italy, confirming the significant role of Gadir in the Phoenician world. Nevertheless, the existence of a local workshop has also been suggested. In any case, it is clear that the people who were buried in this type of sarcophaguses belonged to the ruling classes, despite the fact that they contained very few funerary pieces. The actual container of the body was in itself an element of prestige within the reach of very few people.

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