A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Two Roman-Era Sarcophagi Unearthed in Central Israel
Friday, February 19, 2021
RAMAT GAN, ISRAEL—According to a statement released by The Friends of the Israel Antiquities Authority, two 1,800-year-old sarcophagi were unearthed at Ramat Gan Safari Park during construction work at its wildlife hospital. The sarcophagi were actually discovered years ago during the construction of a parking lot, moved to an out-of-the-way location, and forgotten. Alon Klein and Uzi Rothstein of the Israel Antiquities Authority said the Roman-style sarcophagi were made with local stone and decorated with carvings of flower garlands and symbolic discs intended to protect the soul on its journey to the afterlife. Ovals in this style of carving were usually filled with images of clusters of grapes, but the ovals in these stone coffins remain blank and seem to be unfinished. The matched set may have been made for a wealthy couple or members of the same family. To read about excavations of a Roman theater in Jerusalem, go to "Front Row Seats."
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