Alyscamps (Roman Necropolis): Sarcophagus, formerly part of Les Alyscamps
Musée de l'Arles antique (Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques) is the repository for the sarcophagi from Les Alyscamps. The Sarcophagi range from Roman era, to Early Christian (especially mid 4th century), but late finds date from the 9th and 10th century as well.
Originally a Greek settlement, Arles was refounded with the name Arelate in 46 BCE by Julius Caesar as a colony for army veterans. Christianity was established by Bishop Trophimus in the late 3rd century CE. Les Alyscamps, the Roman necropolis, became one of the pilgrimage centres of Europe. In the mid-4th century there was a great florescence of marble funerary sarcophagi, many of which survive in Les Alyscamps. The name is a corruption of the Latin Elisii Campi (that is, Champs-Élysées or Elysian Fields). They were famous in the Middle Ages and are referred to by Ariosto in Orlando Furioso and by Dante in the Inferno. Roman cities traditionally forbade burials within the city limits. It was therefore common for the roads immediately outside a city to be lined with tombs and mausoleum. The Alyscamps continued to be used well into medieval times.