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calendar   Sunday - November 10, 2013

great find under london street, and it’s only 1,900 years old

This kind of thing excites me no end.  For me, people who are archaeologists and curators of museums are on the same level of hero worship that I hold musicians in. No kidding.  I have been lucky living here over the years, to on the very odd occasion been able to watch them at work. It’s difficult, time consuming and usually a brush stroke and a cup full of dirt at a time.  Yet I watch them in almost the same manner most folks watch a good movie.
I guess I’m fascinated by those things of beauty and accomplishment that I could never hope to master.
Look at the detail in this.  With the tools available at that time, I don’t know how they managed it.I guess that’s what makes them ‘artists’. 

This is really one heck of a great find.

1,900 years old but so pristine it could have been carved just yesterday: Breathtaking Roman sculpture of eagle devouring a serpent is plucked from the London earth

The 1,900-year-old sculpture was found in the City of London by Museum of London Archaeology experts before a site’s redevelopment into a hotel

It is thought to symbolise good triumphing over evil and archaeologists believe it was the centerpiece of a Roman mausoleum

By Sarah Griffiths and David Wilkes

Hidden since the Romans ruled Britain, this extraordinary sculpture was perfectly preserved for 1,900 years beneath a busy street.
The carvings on the 26in high eagle are so crisp that when archaeologists unearthed it last month they feared it was a much later copy rather than an original Roman relic.

image

But experts at the Museum of London Archaeology confirmed that the sculpture from a high-ranking official’s tomb dates from the 1st or 2nd century AD, and is one of only two statues of its type in the world. The other was found in Jordan in 1937.

Archaeologists also unearthed foundations of a mausoleum on the east London site and believe that the statue, dating from the first or second century AD and made from oolitic limestone from the Cotswolds, once adorned it.

The sculpture was pulled from the site on the Minories, a street in the City of London that is close to the Tower of London.

It came out of the ground ‘covered in soil and unrecognisable’ in September in the last few hours of an excavation that had lasted several months.

It is said to be in such good condition that archaeologists could not believe it is 1,900 years old and were initially hesitant to announce the find until it had been seen by several experts.

Caroline McDonald, senior curator of Roman London at the Museum of London, told MailOnline: ‘What I love about this discovery is what it reveals about London 1,900 years ago.

‘Here is a city of around 30,000 people where the mechanics of life are intertwined with the mythical. One Roman Londoner climbs the social ladder and leaves a family rich enough to mark their passing with an extraordinary piece of art.

‘Meanwhile this magnificent eagle protects the deceased, frozen in an eternal struggle to hold evil at bay. It is money and magic captured in stone.
I can’t wait to see it on display at the Museum of London for the public to see.’

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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/10/2013 at 01:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyUK •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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