Epigraphy included both public and private communications written on a variety of objects or scratched on the walls of ancient monuments. Whereas it would not be difficult to accommodate these marginal categories, a more delicate and important question is that of chronology. The traditional categories that survived into the Middle Ages were reduced to building and funerary inscriptions. Whether as a result of foreign conquests or social change, the volume of inscriptions produced after Late Antiquity shows a steady drop. Whole categories of inscriptions die out, e.g. the honorific, usually accompanying statues of provincial governors, in evidence in the fifth and sixth centuries as at Ephesus and Aphrodisias. Latin inscriptions have been omitted because there are too few of them, all falling within the same broad period. As to important persons, they can no longer make use of sarcophagi which become unobtainable even to members of the imperial family.