Monday, April 15, 2024

A special pottery head was found, showing that there’s a hidden ancient Roman village we didn’t know about before

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Hey folks, check this out! Archaeologists found a 2,000-year-old clay head in Kent, England. It belonged to a Roman god figurine, Mercury. This rare discovery suggests a hidden Roman settlement from the first to third centuries.

Romans used to have small god figures like this in their homes for daily worship. They also left them in temples or other places as gifts to the gods. Mercury, the god this head belonged to, was into fine arts, commerce, and financial success. What’s cool is that this Mercury head is made of a special white clay used for making tobacco pipes, which is pretty rare. Most Mercury figurines from Roman Britain were made of metal. Only about 10 of these pipeclay ones have been found so far. Cool, right?

Dr. Matthew Fittock, a specialist in Roman Britain’s clay statues, shared that discoveries like the one at Smallhythe give us a great look into the religious beliefs of the mixed groups living in Roman provinces.

The figurine, believed to represent Mercury standing with either a short cloak or without clothes, holding a staff with two snakes, will be part of an exhibit at Smallhythe Place starting February 28. Smallhythe Place was a crucial spot for shipbuilding in medieval England from the 13th to the mid-16th centuries.

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