Archaeologists unearthed a Roman statue of Greco-Roman sea god, Triton, during excavations for a housing development in Kent, England.
Measuring an impressive 2.3 feet in height and width, the Triton statue weighs over 132 pounds and was situated just 1.3 feet below ground level within an unused clay-lined water tank.
Greco-Roman sea god, Triton, statue
Triton, a merman with the upper body of a man and the lower body of a fish, was a figure of Greek and Roman mythology, known as the son of Neptune (Greek: Poseidon), the god of the sea. In Roman legends, Triton had the power to calm the waves by blowing on a conch shell, which appears to be missing from the sculpture that was discovered. According to Greek mythology, Triton the offspring of Poseidon and Amphitrite.
The discovery took place in Teynham, Kent along the route of the original Roman Watling Street. Besides the Triton statue, the excavations also revealed a mausoleum within a walled and ditched enclosure, along with several Roman and possibly later burials. Some contained grave goods such as glass vessels.
The finds suggest that this was a funerary site for a wealthy family. The statue’s intricate craftsmanship, with finely carved fins on Triton’s back, reflects the significance of the sea and waterways in Roman Britain. It also suggests a high-status connection, possibly with individuals like commanding officers in the navy.
Researchers suggest this site may date back to the early to mid-4th century AD, as evidenced by a coin found in the demolition fill. The excavation also revealed numerous Roman burials, possibly from a later period, both within and in the vicinity of the structures.
The Triton statue has been carefully removed for conservation work, and ongoing research will provide further insights. The mausoleum and precinct walls will be preserved and protected within a roundabout for the new housing development.
Ancient Roman Mosaic Unveiled at Shopping Mall in England
Another remarkable discovery was made recently in England.
A 2,000 year-old Roman mosaic has been unveiled at a shopping mall. The ancient artwork has been initially discovered by construction workers building the shopping mall in southeast England back in 1988 but due to insufficient funding to study the artifact, the mosaic’s location was only recorded and covered back up.
The shoppers who walked over the ancient mosaic remained unaware of its existence for the next 35 years.
Recently, the Lion Walk Shopping Centre and the Colchester Borough Council launched a project to unveil the intricately patterned mosaic and safeguard it under a layer of glass, as reported by Sarah Rose Sharp of Hyperallergic.