|ITEM||Sarcophagus panel with character surrounded by floral decoration|
|CULTURE||Roman, Southern Lebanon|
|PERIOD||2nd – 3rd Century A.D|
|DIMENSIONS||235 mm x 240 mm|
|PROVENANCE||Ex French private collection, acquired between 1970’s – 1990’s|
Prior to the 2nd century, Romans cremated their dead; around that time, they became inspired by the Greek and Etruscan practice of using sarcophagi, and they began to make coffins. This trend spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire and between social stratums. While those of nobility would commission marble sarcophagi, the middle class would commission lead sarcophagi, such as this one. Lead sarcophagi were only made in Phoenicia, or the Eastern part of the empire, but were shipped west due to popularity.