24 July 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

A Mysterious 1,800-year-old Roman Statue Unearthed During Car Park Construction Work in UK

A 1,800-year-old Roman marble statue of a woman’s head was discovered during construction in the parking lot of Burghley House near Stamford in Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom.

In April 2023, mechanical digger operator Greg Crawley discovered the head of a sculpture. He had uncovered a marble head, which experts have dated to the First or Second Century. Two weeks later the marble bust the head used to be attached to was found.

An iron dowel found in the marble head, which probably would have been added in the 18th Century, would have allowed it to be added to a bust or pedestal, experts said.

It was an adaptation often carried out by Italian antique dealers at the time to make excavated ancient relics more attractive to traveling aristocrats.

It is believed that it was during one of the ninth Earl’s two tours to Italy in the 1760s, when he purchased many antiquities, that he brought the sculpture back to Burghley.

Greg Crawley accidentally discovered a “mysterious” 1,800-year-old Roman statue while using a digger during parking lot construction in the United Kingdom, according to Burghley House officials. Photo: Burghley House
Greg Crawley accidentally discovered a “mysterious” 1,800-year-old Roman statue while using a digger during parking lot construction in the United Kingdom, according to Burghley House officials. Photo: Burghley House

The statue depicts “the features of a beautiful Roman lady,” officials said.

The house said it remained “a mystery” as to how the bust and marble head became buried. Explanations range from a bungled burglary to someone simply discarding the statue and it later being covered by soil.

It is also unclear how long it has remained hidden underground before being discovered in late April 2023 when the new car park was nearly complete.

Both items were immediately taken to Burghley’s Curator before being sent to a professional conservator who was able to carefully clean and consolidate the figure, revealing the features of a beautiful Roman lady, before reassembling both pieces as they had been intended.  The find was reported to the British Museum before they were reconstructed.

Additionally, the amazing discovery will be on display along with a description of its discovery and other sculptures that the ninth Earl bought when the House reopens for the 2024 season on March 16.

Cover Photo: Burghley House

Related Articles

7500-year-old cursed city of Iran

17 March 2023

17 March 2023

Sialk Hills, located in the southwestern part of Kashan city in Iran, was known among the locals as a ‘cursed...

Archaeologists have found a previously unknown Roman city with buildings of monumental proportions in Spain’s Aragon Region

17 July 2022

17 July 2022

Archaeologists from the University of Zaragoza in Spain have discovered a previously unknown Roman city with buildings of monumental proportions....

Prehistoric Cave Art Handprints With Missing Fingertips Point to Ritual Amputation

3 January 2024

3 January 2024

Researchers who examined prehistoric cave art in France and Spain, a new interpretation of Paleolithic cave art proposes that prehistoric...

Altar site for Greek goddess Demeter unearthed in Turkey’s ancient city of Blaundus

21 December 2021

21 December 2021

An altar site for the Greek goddess Demeter was unearthed during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Blaundus,...

A unique bone Scythian scepter from the 5th century BC was discovered in Northeast Bulgaria

1 October 2023

1 October 2023

A unique bone scepter belonging to a Scythian warlord from the 5th century BC was discovered during excavations in the...

Two unique mid-14th-century shipwrecks discovered in Sweden

22 April 2023

22 April 2023

During an archaeological dig in western Sweden this summer, the remains of two medieval merchant vessels known as cogs were...

More than 56400 Cultural Goods Seized in Operation Pandora V

11 May 2021

11 May 2021

Operation Pandora V, aimed at preventing the illegal trade of cultural goods, has been one of the most successful operations...

Medieval subterranean corridors found by accident in northeast Iran

1 October 2022

1 October 2022

The workers working on a routine road construction project near Shahr-e Belqeys (City of Belqeys) in northeast Iran made an...

2,000-year-old Roman Military Sandal with Nails Found in Germany

25 June 2024

25 June 2024

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman Military Sandal near an auxiliary Roman camp in Germany. Archaeologists from...

Researchers explored a rock art site near Idupulapaya in India

1 October 2021

1 October 2021

A rock art site was discovered near Idupulapaya in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Rock paintings from the Megalithic...

Bronze Age Wedge Tomb Discovered on the Dingle Peninsula maybe Even Older

22 April 2021

22 April 2021

A wedge tomb recently discovered on the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland was described by archaeologists as “quite unusual”. Wedge tombs...

Ancient Dog Figurines Mini Tea Utensils on Display in Nara

21 February 2021

21 February 2021

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 794, also known as the Nara period, before moving to the...

Ancient rubbish dump under Hatshepsut temple reveals hundreds of artifacts

24 November 2021

24 November 2021

Polish archaeologists uncovered a 3,500-year-old dump while working on the reconstruction of the Hathor Goddess Chapel, which is part of...

Tomb of an Urartian buried with his dog, cattle, sheep, and 4 horses unearthed

6 September 2021

6 September 2021

In ancient times, the dead were buried with their living and non-living things. The offerings placed as dead gifts varied...

Africa May not be Where the First Pre-Human First Appeared

22 March 2021

22 March 2021

According to one opinion: About 2 million years ago, our first ancestors moved north from their hometown and left Africa....