Lid and end panels of a lead sarcophagus

Period: Late Imperial

Date: late 2nd–mid 3rd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Lead

Dimensions: Overall: 18 3/4 x 63 3/4 x 17 1/4 in. (47.6 x 161.9 x 43.8 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Lead

Credit Line: Gift of The Kevorkian Foundation, 1965

Accession Number: 65.148


This coffin has been attributed to a workshop at Tyre on the grounds of its decorative elements and the fact that the two end panels have different designs—one a temple façade, and the other a star pattern of rosettes. The motifs were impressed into the lead with stamps, often used repeatedly. Although all of the sarcophagus (apart from its base) has survived, the lead is now too brittle and delicate to allow a complete reconstruction.