Statue of Roman emperor in the form of Hercules found on the Appian Way, Rome – Watch video

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Statue of Roman emperor in the form of Hercules found on the Appian Way, Rome – Watch video

The discovery was made – face first – as a bulldozer was digging through old pipes to be replaced

A life-size statue of a Roman emperor in the form of Hercules, the hero of Greek mythology, was discovered during sewer repair work near the Appian Way (Appia Antica), the first major public road of ancient Rome.

The discovery was made – face first – as a bulldozer was digging through old pipes that needed to be replaced. The archaeologist supervising the work immediately intervened.

“This face appeared and then was immediately recognized as a character dressed as Hercules,” Francesca Romana Paolillo, an archaeologist at the Appia Antica park, told Reuters.

The marble sculpture, which shows a Hercules-like figure with a lion’s skin and the hero’s trademark club, was discovered on January 25 in Scott Park, part of the Appia Antica green area.

This shows forehead wrinkles that are characteristic of depictions of emperors from the 3rd century, a time of deep crisis for the Roman Empire.

The sculpture bears a “clear resemblance” to the emperor Decius, who ruled Rome from 249 to 251 AD, Paolillo said, adding that discoveries of depictions of Roman leaders with the features of Hercules are “quite rare.”

The statue, consisting of several broken pieces and damaged during its accidental discovery, is currently being cleaned and restored.

Reuters saw the statue while it was stored in an ancient Roman water tank that has now been converted into a warehouse. Once repaired, the statue is expected to be displayed in a public space.

Decius was the first Roman emperor to be killed in battle – fighting against the Goths in what is now Bulgaria – and was behind the first organized persecution of Christians.

When it comes to the ancient history of Rome, accidental discoveries of archaeological treasures are not uncommon when digging up city streets or parks.

In January, archaeologists said they had given up searching for the remains of the opening of the Appian Way because groundwater made it impossible to dig deep enough.

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