Sarcophagus Research Paper

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The Romans gave an artistic touch to almost everything they created, even caskets, or sarcophagi. The word sarcophagus originated from the Greeks, meaning “consumer of flesh” (Gardner). A sarcophagus is a coffin usually decorated with sculptures and motifs, which was used to memorialize their dead. One of the famous Roman sarcophagi is The Sarcophagus Depicting a Battle between Soldiers and Amazon (Warrior Women) located in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It is rectangular in shape with dimensions 40.5 by 91.5 by 50.5 inches and weighs approximately more than 5500 pounds. Historians believed the Romans created the sarcophagus around 140 A.D. to 170 A.D. in honor of a Roman military leader. Earlier, the Romans had their dead cremated, but by the 2nd century it became popular to…show more content…
The figure that immediately jumps out is the soldier that is depicted larger than the Amazon warrior on horseback. The soldier is wearing a helmet and a tunic protected by chest armor. He looks noble and heroic as he stands tall, holding his shield high to defend himself; in the other hand is wielding a sword. Two Amazon women are charging towards him on horseback with a spear in one hand and a shield in the other. There is movement in the sculptures by how the horse is rearing back on its hind legs and how the Amazon’s cape flows in the wind as she rides her horse. This helps the viewer visualize the strife and the struggle in the battle. Underneath one of the horses is an Amazon warrior lying dead on the ground. Lastly, in each of the four corners of the sarcophagus is a soldier that now has possession of both his sword and the Amazon’s spear as a trophy. The soldier is hovering over the Amazon warrior kneeling down on one knee with her hands bound behind her back and a saddened expression as she looks down at the ground with

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