Near the Appian Highway, the first highway in ancient Rome, was found a life-sized statue depicting a Roman emperor. The statue was found during a sewer repair.
As a bulldozer ripped through old pipelines, the statue’s face was revealed. The find was investigated by archaeologists on-site.
Marble statue features Hercules’s signature lion skin pelt, club and femur. These lines are intended to signify a time when the Roman Empire is in deep crisis. This statue is typical of 3rd century depictions of emperors.
Archaeologists think the statue may be of Emperor Decius, who ruled Rome between 249 and 251 CE. Decius was the first Roman Emperor to be killed by an enemy in battle. He was killed while fighting the Visigoths of present-day Bulgaria and was responsible for the first organized executions of Christians.
Because of accidental damage, the statue is now broken up. It is currently being cleaned and restored in preparation for its public display.
This discovery comes just a month after archaeologists announced that they would abandon their search for the remains on the Appian Way’s opening section.