Adam Woolfitt / Corbis

The monument consists of a U-shaped altar (above), for sacrificial offerings, enclosed by a 36-foot-square housing decorated with relief panels. The upper registers of the housing’s exterior side walls are carved with processions; the side not visible, toward the window, shows Augustus with his family and important officials. The detail on this issue’s cover—showing the fertility goddess Saturnia Tellus—appears in a relief on the exterior back wall.