During repair work on an old damaged sewer pipe in Rome, a life-size marble statue of the demigod Hercules was discovered.
As reported by Appia Antica Park on their social networks, the discovery was made on the slope of Parco Scott, the green space adjoining the park.
Due to its poor preservation and the circumstances in which it was found, the statue was fractured, both arms were disconnected from the body, and the legs had been separated from the feet on a platform.
The statue may date back to Imperial times, when Rome was at the height of its power.
Experts were able to determine that the statue depicts a male figure dressed as mythological hero Hercules, due to the presence of the headdress and the details alluding to the nemean lion, one of the beasts Hercules had to fight against to earn a place among the gods of Olympus. The lion headdress covers the character’s head.
View of the excavation carried out on the Roman sewers and of the statue found. Credit: Parco Regionale dell’Appia Antica.
Francesca Romana Paolillo archaeologist from the Italian Ministry of Culture in charge of the excavations, revealed that the characteristics of the statue resemble those of the roman emperor Gaius Mesius Quintus Trajan Decius, better known as Deciuswho lived in the 3rd century AD and ruled the Roman Empire from AD 249 to 251
According to an official statement, the unearthed statue and other official portraits of Decius Trajan share the “wrinkles of anguish,” a physical trait meant to represent “concern for the fate of the state, a virtue highly prized in the high command of the empire”. “. .
Emperor Gaius Mesius Quintus Trajan Decius. Credit: Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica.
The site had been under construction for months without any archaeological finds, but it’s no surprise that a piece of history was unearthed there given the the proximity of the park with Priscilla’s Tomb and the Appian Way, a historic route used for military conquests during ancient Rome. This 650 kilometer long road linked Rome to the town of Brindisi at the foot of the boot-shaped peninsula.
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In Roman mythology, Hercules is the son of the god Jupiter and the mortal Alcmene. He is considered one of the greatest heroes of Roman legends and was known for Complete the famous “Twelve Jobs”which were a series of tasks given by Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae, to gain immortality and a place among the gods.
References: National Geographic/AP.
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