Ancient statue of Hercules discovered during sewer repair work in Rome

In Rome, a statue believed to be about 2000 years old was found during repair work on a sewage system.

The life-sized marble statue depicting a male figure dressed as the mythological Roman hero Hercules was discovered in a public garden in Rome during work to repair sewage pipes, near the archaeological area of ​​Appia Antica.

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

While finds like this are very common in Rome during excavations, workers from Acea (a multi-utility water and energy company) came across the statue only after weeks of work with no prior trace of any archaeological evidence, 10 meters underground. ground.

Domenico Stinellis/AP Photo

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

Italian Ministry of Culture / AP Photo

The spot under Rome’s ancient Via Appia where the ancient life-sized Roman statue of Hercules was discovered – Italian Ministry of Culture/AP Photo

Archaeologists so far think the statue dates from the Imperial era and hypotheses have already been made about the identity of the man portrayed.

According to archaeologist Francesca Romana Paolillo, one of the archaeologists working at the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, the statue’s features resemble those of the Roman Emperor Decius, who lived in the 3rd century AD.

The artifact was discovered near the ancient Via Appia, the 400-mile (650 km) road that connected Rome to the city of Brindisi on the heel of the boot-shaped peninsula.

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

Other recent discoveries

Andrew Medichini/AP's photo

A Pompeian-style fresco from Herculaneum titled “Young Hercules and the Serpent”, dated to the I second AC -Andrew Medichini/AP Photo

In other Hercules news, an ancient fresco last month effigy of the demigod was returned 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 traded items, which ended up in private collections in the United States, would be returned to Italy.

Among the more precious pieces returned to Rome are a kylix for Christ and a two-handled shallow drinking vessel believed to be about 2,600 years old.

Furthermore, there was an “exceptional” asset in November last year bronze statuesPreserved for thousands of years by mud and boiling water, it 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 San Casciano dei Bagni archaeological site near Siena, is one of the most important ever in the Mediterranean and certainly the most important since the underwater discovery in 1972 of the famous bronze warriors of Riace.

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

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