• AD

Mysterious carving of naked man discovered

Updated: Jul 8

CONTEXT:

Many archaeological findings don't come by pre-planned, calculated and targeted excavations, but originally excavations for other purposes such as construction. We knew about one such incident in China a couple of weeks ago, and it was a major finding. Recently we have another finding in Britain to talk about.

Source: Pexels

Let's Deep Dive:

What has been found:

A relief of a human figure, standing in front of a four-legged horse-like animal(could be a donkey also) wearing nothing but a crown or maybe a hat was found. The idol in that relief holds a spear in his left hand. The relief is carved on a sandstone. The statue is 315mm in height and 160mm in width.


Informations about the artefact:

  • The statue was unearthed at the Roman Fort Museum in Vindolanda, situated near the Hadrian's Wall in the Northumberland of Northern England.

  • Two local volunteer excavators at the Roman Fort Museum were directed to excavate and uncover a flagged floor inside a building, around sixteen hundred years old, at the site. The sandstone statue was found during the excavation by them.


The study:

The team of archaeologists who were overseeing the excavations of the site are now studying the statue to find any clue that might indicate a relation between that statue and other discoveries from the site. Marta Alberti, one of the archaeologists, think that the idol is very likely to be of a god as the nakedness does not go with a horseback soldier. She also thinks that the spear held in the idol's hand depicts the image of the god of war(i.e. Mars). With another thought, she relates the idol with the god of travel(i.e. Mercury) as there are possibilities of the two-round features on the idol's head to be wings. The 'Mercury' theory strengthens as horses and donkeys are associated very often with Mercury as the protector of travellers. Apart from all this, the idol could be something that has never been seen before and never be seen in future also. The Roman Fort in Vindolanda went through construction many times throughout its lifetime; a lot of artefacts found at the site are mainly the leftovers of the owners of the fort and their families. The artefacts show us a picture of the lifestyles of those ancient people.