An ancient statue of Hercules discovered during sewer repair works in Rome

A statue believed to be around 2,000 years old was found in Rome during repair work on a sewage system.

The life-size marble statue depicting a male figure dressed as the mythological Roman hero Hercules was discovered in a public garden in Rome during works to restore sewer pipes, in the surroundings of the Appia Antica archaeological area.

It appeared, face first, as a bulldozer was tearing through old pipelines that needed replacing. An archaeologist in charge of the project immediately intervened.

Although findings of this type are very common in Rome during excavations, workers from Acea (a multi-utility company in the field of water and energy) only found the statue after weeks of work without looking for any archaeological evidence beforehand, 10 meter led. land.

Domenico Stinellis/AP Photo

An ancient Roman life-size statue of Hercules lies on his back in Rome’s Appia Archaeological Park, January 30, 2023. – Domenico Stinellis/AP Photo

Italian Ministry of Culture/AP Photo

The site under the old Appian Way in Rome where the ancient Roman statue of Hercules was discovered – Italian Ministry of Culture/AP Photo

Archaeologists so far believe that the statue could date to the Imperial age, and hypotheses on the identity of the man depicted have already been made.

According to the archaeologist Francesca Romana Paolillo, one of the archaeologists working in the Archaeological Park of Appia Antica, the characteristics of the statue are similar to those of the Roman emperor Decius, who lived in the 3rd century AD.

The artifact was discovered near the ancient Appian Way, the 650 kilometer long road that connected Rome to the city of Brindisi on the boot-shaped heel of the peninsula.

This was one of the most important roads ever built by the Romans.

Other recent discoveries

Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

Pompeiian style fresco from Herculaneum entitled “Young Hercules and the snake”, dated I second AC – Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

In other Herculean news, last month an ancient fresco which shows the demi-god back to Italyalong with 59 other important artifacts after being illegally trafficked to the US.

Last summer, US authorities announced that the fresco and dozens of other trafficked objects, which ended up in private collections in the United States, would be returned to Italy.

Among the most valuable pieces brought back to Rome are a BC kylix and a shallow two-handled drinking vessel, believed to be around 2,600 years old.

In addition, in November of last year it was “exceptional”. bronze statuespreserved for thousands of years by mud and boiling water, was discovered in a network of baths built by the Etruscans in Tuscany.

The discovery of the 24 statues, in the sacred baths of the archaeological excavation of San Casciano dei Bagni near Siena, is one of the most significant ever in the Mediterranean and certainly the most important since the 1972 underwater discovery of the famous bronze warriors Riace.

Jacopo Tabolli, who coordinated the excavation for the University for Foreigners in Siena, said that the discovery was significant because it sheds new light on the end of the Etruscan civilization and the expansion of the Roman Empire, which was marked by wars and conflicts throughout Tuscany the today. , Umbria and Lazio regions.

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