Asiatic Garland Sarcophagus (70.1)

This sarcophagus was the first gift to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, donated by Abdo Debbas in 1870. Mr. Debbas was the United States Vice-Consul in Tarsus, which is where the sarcophagus comes from.2 Mr. A. Hyatt Mayor, who served as curator for the museum in the 20th century, described the event as such "he sent his stone ark across the waters teeming with an idea from the Old World to start life in the New World."3 Mr. Mayor thought that this event was legendary because it represented the Classical ideas from which our country takes its whole foundation coming to the New World to teach about where the United States ideas', history, religions, and literature came from.
The Met's description of the Sarcophagus can be found here.