Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lead sarcophagus of a child

Late Imperial
3rd century A.D.
H.: 5 5/16 x 14 1/8 in. (13.5 x 35.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. Alvah L. Miller, 1961
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
Although they also occur in the western provinces (for example, in Britain, where the Romans exploited the lead mines), lead sarcophagi were more popular in the East and have been found in cemeteries throughout Syria and Israel. This example, the coffin of a small child, is said to have been found near Jericho.
Duncan, John Garrow. 1925. "A Leaden Ossuary." Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 58: pp. 65-7.

McCann, Anna Marguerite. 1978. Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. no. 27, pp. 137, 142, 149, fig. 188, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rahmani, Levi Yitzhak. 1999. A Catalogue of Roman and Byzantine Lead coffins from Israel. no. 94, pp. 114-5, figs. 61, 80, pls. 47-8, Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority.

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