Ash Chest



Rectangular ash chest of Severina Procilla. The ash chest was originally a double chest with two cavities inside and the central division was moved Inscription restored. There are two clamp holes near the centre top edge of both sides in the form of small holes placed close together. The upper edge is not shaped and the back is undecorated. The chest could have had initially two inscription panels but was restored with one large panel across the width of the chest between the Ammon heads. The inscription made in the 18th century is: SEVERINAE PROCILLAE OSSA HIC SITA SVNT L.SEVERINVS L.F.MATRI FECIT To Severina Procilla. Her bones are placed here. Lucius Severinus, son of Lucius, made this for his mother. The inscription is well placed with regular well formed letters and great care has been given to it as with the rest of the restorations. The inscription is not implausible in ancient times but the second line is perhaps less common in ash chests of ancient times. The front corners have the heads of Jupiter Ammon above swans with fruit and flower garlands, hanging from the horns of Ammon and looped up in the centre of the ash chest, below the inscription panel. In its restored form the central support is a button like circular object, decorated with a rosette but may not have been the original support. Below the garlands are two garden birds, pecking at the fruits. The spaces between the birds and above the garlands are filled with fluttering taeiniae. On the sides are large palmettes. A simple undecorated fascia moulding runs along the top edge of the front and the sides. On the front the lower moulding divides into two by an horizontal groove. The ash chest in its original form had two inscription panels with the garlands looped up to a garland support between them. Ammon heads are normally above eagles, swans appear below the rams' heads but can be combined together as there is evidence in other ash chests.