The tombstone is shaped like a sanctuary with lions standing guard on top. It shows a tropaeum: a pole on which a helmet and a Celtic shield have been hung. There is a bearded prisoner tied to the pole; this is the customary representation of “Barbarians” such as Celtic or Germanic peoples. According to its inscription, the tombstone was erected in the memory of a woman called Silene, who – judging by the name – may have been a slave. The scene can thus hardly be connected to the life of the deceased: perhaps a tombstone already finished was chosen for her burial.
Material analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the stela was made of limestone from the area of Padova-Venice. Click here for the detailed results.