The funeral

Human beings have always sought to leave immortal signs of their existence and have passed down through stone the memory of themselves and their loved ones. The marble slabs displayed in this room are almost two thousand years old and the words engraved on them are still readable today.

The marble slabs displayed in this room, which used to be clustered along the main consular roads near the entrances to the city, are nearly two thousand years old and the words engraved on them can still be read today. The ancient Romans used stone inscriptions to mark their graves, and entrusted epigraphs with the memory of their identity and their life experiences. Funeral epigraphs not only include inscriptions indicating the burial place of the deceased, but also epitaphs – which memorialised their name – and accessory inscriptions, such as those on the boundary stones that marked burial grounds or the entrance to collective burials. Epitaphs offer an immense wealth of information on the ancient world and the composition of the social fabric of the time. Moreover, relief portraits of the deceased or depictions of crafts and tools of work or daily life were often carved on funerary monuments next to inscriptions.

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