“Column” sarcophagi

This section includes, in particular, complete specimens or fragments of sarcophagi in which the frontal decoration consists of colonnaded architecture framing characters or scenes, ranging from the most ancient (early fourth century), still characterised by themes that are not specifically Christian, to the latest (late fourth century) which abandon the narrative sequence of biblical episodes to leave space for broader unitary representations. Among the themes, the most prevalent are the scenes of the Passion and the Resurrection (Anástasis), also represented in this section by exemplars that do not belong to the category of “column” sarcophagi: significant among these are the “tree” variant or the rare (late) “stars and crowns” type.