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A Sarcophagus from Antioch


Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins. The sarcophagus shown on this page can be found in the Archaeological Museum of Antakya in Turkey. It is not terribly important from a historical or art historical point of view, but it is well preserved, and proves the prosperity of the city of Antioch in the mid-third century.

The sarcophagus is of the Sidemara type, which means that the first specimen of this type was found in the ruins of the ancient town of Sidemara (modern Anbararasi, not far from modern Konya). The name is slightly misleading, because the marble is from the quarries of Docimea, and the sculptor who made this sarcophagus must have lived somewhere near modern Afyon.
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Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins. Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins. Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins.
The deceased, pooring a libation Lion chase The deceased woman and her sons?
Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins. Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins. Antioch sarcophagus, detail. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins.
The deceased, flanking Apollo A horse on the corner Detail
Antioch sarcophagus, skeletons. Archaeological Museum of Antakya (Turkey). Photo Marco Prins. The sarcophagus is about 2,5 meters long and 1,25 wide and high. The lid is almost undamaged, although the heads of the two statues are missing.

Three people were buried inside: a man and two women.
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2010
Revision: 29 May 2010
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