A Roman Marble Foot
At first glance, this foot seems to be just a relic of Roman arts. Upon closer inspection, however, this foot retains a mystery that cannot be as easily understood. Beyond the obvious questions of who this may have belonged to, one may marvel at the metaphor this piece makes for the arc of Rome's history. Was this a sculpture of a shoeless man with little means; or maybe it was an ascetic man of the upper classes who wished to show a kindred spirit with the population.
The artist who formed this foot took time to recreate the natural anatomy of the heel, ankle, arch, toes, and ball of a foot that was never meant to walk. The fat toes each contain faintly carved toenails, while the bare sole is wide and stable, giving us clues as to how this foot outlasted what may have been a brittle body. The marble itself is smoothed yet dense and displays a creamy light tan that contrasts well with the color of the open desert. This foot may seem a lone artifact, but its journey is at once in tune with the history of an entire region and beyond. This piece dates from approximately 200 AD – 300 AD and has a length of 14 cm.