Cremated Ivory Cupids from a Funeral Couch, Rome

Illustration

Francesca Santoro L'hoir
by
published on 25 October 2014

After cremation, the incinerated bones were picked out and sorted from the charred wood of the fire and the couch on which the body had been laid. While the bones would be collected and placed into an urn, the remains of the wood and couch were gathered and placed in a special jar to be buried under the floor of the columbarium. These ivory cupids, from the Capitoline Museum, on display in 1997 at the Centrale Montemartini, were cremated along with the remains of someone who could afford an expensive funeral (The wooden couch is merely a modern frame to display how they would have appeared.).



About the Author

Francesca Santoro L'hoir
I am a former college professor and Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, 1997.

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