|ROMAN MARBLE CINERARIUM
Carved with a garland of flowers and fruits that drapes from the rams horns. Two birds stand atop the garland, underneath the inscription panel: DIS MANIBVS CLAVDIAE TRYPHANAE VIX ANNIS XXXXV M ANTIONIVS PRISCVS CONIVGI BENE MERENTI FECIT (To the gods of immortality, I Marcus Antonius Priscus made this for my well-deserving wife, Claudia Tryphana, who lived 45 years.)
This marble container was used to hold the bones and ashes of a deceased person in ancient Rome. Called "cineraria," the urns were usually placed in underground chambers with niches in the walls for the individual urns. These chambers might belong to an extended family or to a burial society, which charged people a fee to bury them and maintain their burial. This cinerary urn is unfinished on the back suggesting that it was placed in a niche.
Ex New York private collection.
1st-2nd Century AD
H. 7 3/4 in. (19.7 cm.)
W. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.)
Depth 9 in. (22.9 cm.)
Art of the Ancient World, 2009, no. 31