Encoffined bodies: on the role of decorated sarcophagi in the funerary customs of Phoenicia during the Roman period

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Abstract

Throughout the Roman Empire material and visual strategies in the form of sarcophagi, architectural structures, portraits, inscriptions, etc. were used in the memorialisation of the dead and in funerary practices. The second and
third centuries AD witnessed the peak of stone sarcophagus consumption in the Roman Empire and Phoenicia.
These sarcophagi belonged to a wider funerary phenomenon in Phoenicia between the first and fourth centuries AD: the practice of setting up publicly visible stone funerary monuments on an unprecedented scale. Such a practice is not seen in earlier periods and thus marks a transformation in how locals experienced the funerary space.
By examining material and visual components, this PhD investigates the functionality of the sarcophagi within local funerary customs and ritual activity, particularly, how they played a role in local communities negotiating
death and grief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49
Number of pages1
JournalTijdschrift voor Mediterrane Archeologie
Volume69
Publication statusPublished - 8-Dec-2023

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