this piece has been cracked through the middle

Cinerary Box with Cover, 1st century

expand_more

Marbleexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  62.20a,b

Not on Viewexpand_more

This cinerary urn resembles a small building with pitched roof. The inscription attests that it contained the ashes of a man and a woman, possibly husband and wife, who were freed slaves:

To the divine shades of D(ecimus) Aemilius Chius and Hortensia Phebe

The ornamentation combines symbols related to death and resurrection. The garlands and fruit indicate regeneration and eternal life; the winged harpies on the front corners are fantastic creatures thought to carry off the souls of the dead; the eagles on the back corners represent man's spiritual ability to soar heavenwards. The central gorgon's head serves to ward off evil influence. The back is not decorated, as the urn would have been places in a niche inside a tomb.

Details
Title
Cinerary Box with Cover
Role
Artist
Accession Number
62.20a,b
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

this piece has been cracked through the middle