3rd C Sarcophagus, Musée Départmental de l’Arles Antique, Arles, France

Walking through the empty shell of a once-magnificent building — a Roman temple, an amphitheatre, etc. — the sense of what people did there lies in the distance. It is hard to connect to their emotional state, their beliefs and thoughts can only be imagined. This sarcophagus, however, gave a face to those things. The connection between husband and wife, the raising and education of children, the role of family, are all evident in the relief. It stimulates the emotions we carry on today and in doing so connects us with our past along this dimension, at a personal level.


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