Caesarea Maritima: architecture (5)




Column capitals aren’t the only items on display near Herod’s theater and the Herodian wall in Caesarea Maritima. One of the largest objects there is a sarcophagi.

An informative sign near the sarcophagi on display reads:

“Sarcophagi (coffins in Greek) made of stone (granite, marble, limestone) lead or wood were wisely used among different people including Jews, throughout the Greco-Roman world. Sarcophagus means ‘flesh eater.’

“Stone coffins were made out of two huge blocks – a cavity in which the corpse was placed and a double-slopped roof lid on which [in this particular example] a Greek inscription was engraved: ‘the grave of Prokopios the Deacon.’ The coffins were decorated with flora, hunting, mythological scenes, or with geometric shapes for more modest coffins.

“Most Sarcophagi discovered in Caesarea belonged to the Roman-Byzantine cemetery which is still to be fully excavated.”

Prokopios, considered to be “the last major historian of the ancient world,” lived in the 6th century A.D.