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Phoenician anthropoid sarcophagi, male (around 450-400 BC) and female (around 470 BC)

  • Anthropoid Phoenician sarcophagi. Cadiz Museum © Ministerio de Cultura

    Anthropoid Phoenician sarcophagi. Cadiz Museum © Ministerio de Cultura



Rites, worship and beliefs


Punic period (400-470 BC).

Cultural background


Original title

Sarcófagos fenicios antropoides, masculino (hacia 450-400 a.C.) y femenino (hacia 470 a.C.)
Cadiz Museum
Cadiz, Andalusia

The discovery of the male sarcophagus led to the setting up of the Cadiz Archaeological Museum in 1887.

The male sarcophagus represents an adult male figure holding a pomegranate in his left hand and a painted crown with flowers in his right hand. The carving of the stone points to the work of a Greek or very Hellenised Phoenician artist, an expert in the techniques of the great masters of classic art in the 5th century BC.

Regarding the female one, the features of a woman are carved in relief on the lid: feet, arms, breasts, neck, face and hairstyle. Not many anthropoid sarcophagi like these exist. Others are known of in Sicily and, in particular, in the Lebanese town of Sidon.

Details of the work


Sculpted and polished white marble. The piece was polychrome originally.


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