Severan sculptures Found in Rome

AFP: Third-century Roman sculptures discovered

Two points make this news interesting:
1) the sculptures were deliberately buried - with bits of tufa between them - rather than thrown into the fountain by iconoclast vandals
2) the excavation was privately sponsored

The sculptures date from the last, third century phase of the villa, and many depict Septimius Severus and his family; there is also a statue of a nude Zeus and a herm. And since a pictures in worth a thousand words, here are photos of the sculptures themselves, which are particularly fine and suggest that the villa belonged to someone highly placed in society, probably with strong links to the Imperial family.

There is more about the find and a great photo of the sculptures in situ on Discovery News here.


  1. I hope that Berlusconi is not retrospectively affecting Italian society: that lady does not look at all like his wife, Julia Domna :-)

  2. It's a bit hard to tell due to photo quality, but it is also possible the first two are M. Aurlius, and the third L. Verus. Nos. 6-7 are likely either Julia Domna or another Severan princess. Perhaps they were buried to hide them from barbarians or iconoclasts.


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