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Archaeologists Discover Marble God Statue in Roman Sewer

Archaeologists Discover Marble God Statue in Roman Sewer

Bulgarian archaeologists made an unexpected discovery this week while excavating an ancient Roman sewer—a well-preserved marble statue of the Greek god Hermes.

The 6.8-foot (2-meter) tall statue was found during excavation work at Heraclea Sintica, an ancient city in southwestern Bulgaria near the Greek border.

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According to archaeologists, after an earthquake devastated the city around A.D. 388, the statue was carefully placed in the sewers and covered with soil, which helped preserve it in good condition.

Lyudmil Vagalinski, who led the team, said the statue’s head is intact, with only minor fractures on the hands. He explained that the statue is a Roman copy of an ancient Greek original.

Heraclea Sintica was founded by Philip II of Macedon, between 356 B.C. and 339 B.C., in what is now the Bulgarian region of Pirin Macedonia.

Despite the adoption of Christianity as the Roman Empire’s official religion, the people of Heraclea Sintica seemed to have taken care of their old deities, attempting to preserve the statue.

Following the earthquake, Heraclea Sintica quickly declined and was abandoned by around A.D. 500.