Marble relief fragment

Period: Imperial

Date: 1st–2nd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: H.: 21 x 21 5/8 in. (53.3 x 54.9 cm)

Classification: Stone Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of The American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, 1926

Accession Number: 26.199.63


The relief shows part of a scene of a venatio (a series of games in the theater or circus comprising fights between men and animals or between different types of animals). At the bottom is what remains of a Greek inscription, indicating that the scene represents the third day of the games. The relief may have decorated a monument set up to honor the magistrate or other leading citizen who paid for the games. The slab was found during the American excavations at Sardis in 1912, near the Temple of Artemis, where it had been reused in a Byzantine tomb.