Roman marble funeral urn, 1st century A.D.

The cinerary urns are some of the most chosen pieces of Roman antiquity. Incineration was very common in ancient times. The Romans, like other cultures before them, used urns to collect the ashes of their deceased covered with a lid of the same material from which they were made. Depending on the wealth of the family, they could be made of metal, ceramics or marble as in this case, especially in durable materials. This urn has the particularity that it was used twice. A palimpsest can be seen on its surface, that is, a writing that has been erased in order to write over it again. Its text refers to a father who lost his son at the age of 10 whose ashes it would contain, covered with a lid that has not been preserved as the border shows. The ancient Romans used to deposit the urns in family niches, where the deceased were kept together.


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