'Utterly astounding finds': Archaeologists find Roman statues while excavating English church
In what has been deemed as a "once-in-a-lifetime" discovery, archaeologists have unearthed Roman statues in a mausoleum under an old church. The discovery was made while working on a high-speed railway project in a small English village.
While archaeologists were excavating a circular ditch around what was considered the foundations of an Anglo-Saxon tower, they discovered three stone busts that appeared to be Roman.
Two of the busts include a head and torso which had been split before deposition. The third one comprises just a head. It has been concluded that the statues belong to one female adult and one male adult, along with the head of a child.
The work has been carried out by HS2’s Enabling Works Contractor, Fusion JV, and their archaeological contactor, L-P Archaeology.
Dr Rachel Wood, Lead Archaeologist for Fusion JV, in a press release said, “For us to end the dig with these utterly astounding finds is beyond exciting. The statues are exceptionally well preserved, and you really get an impression of the people they depict literally looking into the faces of the past is a unique experience. Of course, it leads us to wonder what else might be buried beneath England’s medieval village churches."
Apart from the statues, a well-preserved hexagonal glass Roman jug was also discovered. The jug had large pieces still intact despite being buried for years.
Archaeologists have concluded that the square building that pre-dates the Norman church is a Roman mausoleum.
The artefacts will be taken to a specialist laboratory where they will be further examined. However, the final destination for the finds is yet to be determined.