A sarcophagus (plural, sarcophagi) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σάρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγεῖν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarcophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos (λίθος σαρκοφάγος). Since lithos is Greek for "stone", lithos sarcophagos means, "flesh-eating stone". The word also came to refer to a particular kind of limestone that was thought to rapidly facilitate the decomposition of the flesh of corpses contained within it due to the chemical properties of the limestone itself.
1 History 2 United States 3 Asia 4 Gallery 5 References 6 Bibliography 7 External links
Roman-era sarcophagi at Worms, Germany.
Sarcophagi were most often designed to remain above ground. In Ancient
Egypt, a sarcophagus acted like an outer shell.
Hagia Triada sarcophagus
The limestone relief on this Roman sarcophagus, c. AD 190, depicts the Triumph of Dionysus. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.
Most Roman examples were designed to be placed against a wall and are
decorated on three of the sides only. Sarcophagi continued to be used
in Christian Europe for important figures, especially rulers and
leading church figures, and by the
High Middle Ages
Warner Tomb in
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Sarcophagi, usually "false", made a return to the cemeteries of
America during the last quarter of the 19th century, at which time,
according to a New York company which built sarcophagi, "it was
decidedly the most prevalent of all memorials in our cemeteries".
They continued to be popular into the 1950s, at which time the
popularity of flat memorials (making for easier grounds maintenance)
made them obsolete. Nonetheless, a 1952 catalog from the memorial
industry still included 8 pages of them, broken down into Georgian and
Classical detail, a Gothic and Renaissance adaptation, and a Modern
variant. Shown on the right are sarcophagi from the late 19th
century located in
Laurel Hill Cemetery
Canaanite sarcophagi, now at Israel Museum
Lid of a Sarcophagus. (664-332 BCE) Brooklyn Museum
Ancient Roman sarcophagus from Marcianopolis
Roman sarcophagus from Salona
Moabite sarcophagus in
Detail of a stone sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum showing a hunting scene.
Robert Todd Lincoln's sarcophagus at Arlington National Cemetery
Family Sarcophagi in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
Sarcophagus of Seianti Hanunia Tlesnasa
Christopher Columbus's sarcophagus in the Cathedral of Seville.
^ WordInfo etymology. As a noun the Greek term was further adopted to mean "coffin" and was carried over into LATIN, where it was used in the phrase lapis sarcophagus, "flesh-eating stone", referring to those same properties of limestone. ^ a b Columbia University Department of Archaeology ^ Presbrey - Leland, ‘’Commemoration: The Book of Presbrey - Leland Memorials’’, Presbrey-Leland Incorporated, 1952 p. 79 ^ Veit, Richard Francis (2008). New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape. Rutgers University Press/Rivergate Books. p. 169. ISBN 978-0813542362. ^ Presbrey - Leland, ‘’Commemoration: The Book of Presbrey - Leland Memorials’’, Presbrey-Leland Incorporated, 1952 pp. 79–85
Mont Allen, "Sarcophagus", in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, edited by Michael Gagarin, vol. 6, p. 214–218 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). Robert Manuel Cook, Clazomenian Sarcophagi (Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 1981). R. R. R. Smith, Sculptured for Eternity: Treasures of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Art from Istanbul Archaeological Museum (Istanbul: Ertuǧ and Kocabıyık, 2001). Paul Zanker and Björn C. Ewald, Living with Myths: The Imagery of Roman Sarcophagi (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sarcophagi.
Egyptian sarcophagi sarcaphagi in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Sarcophagus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p.