Burial Urn



Small cinerary urn in alabaster, a rectangular chest hollowed to form a roughly rectangular cavity to hold the bones of a human cremation (small fragments of charred bone, some recognizable as fragments of skull, pelvis and phalanges). All surfaces but the front (long side) are only roughly finished, with two channels bored into the corners of one side to receive the tenoned edges of an effigy lid. The chest is broken into two pieces, one segment of the rim missing; exterior surfaces badly eroded. The front surface is carved in relief with a stock departure scene within an architectural border: above, a deep cavetto-like moulding with beaded mouldings on its surface; below, a cavetto and rope-pattern between two beaded mouldings. The figural scene is dominated by a toga-clad, wreathed man driving a four-horse chariot (quadriga) to right, as a man and a cloaked boy look on from the left corner. Behind the chariot, facing its driver, is a horseman. The chariot team is rendered in a lively fashion, each horse turning its head and legs in a slightly different direction.