Two Brits With Metal Detector Find Ancient Roman Bronze Artifacts

A dog statue with its tongue hanging out is one of many ancient Roman bronze artifacts uncovered in England that date back 1,700 years.

The numerous pieces are remnants of a time when the Roman Empire ruled Great Britain, during roughly the first four centuries AD, and may have been heaped together by a metal worker who was going to melt them down to reuse the material, the Gloucestershire City Council said when it reported the finds. Although the artifacts “appear to have been deliberately broken and hidden,” the dog statue is still whole and is an example of a healing statue. It may have been used at an undiscovered Roman healing temple in Gloucestershire or in a known temple in the town Lydney in that county.

Two men found the bronze treasure hoard with the help of a metal detector, the city council said. They contacted archaeologists who handled the pieces.

“How wonderful to have made such an astonishing discovery, and what a fantastic coup for Gloucestershire,” Councillor Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said in the city statement. “The prospect of more hidden treasures buried here in the county is an exciting one indeed for local residents and historians alike.”

A bronze statue of a dog dating to the 4th century, when the Roman Empire controlled Britain, was recently uncovered in Gloucestershire. Photo: The British Museum

A detailed bronze statue of a dog dating to the 4th century, when the Roman Empire controlled Britain, was recently uncovered in Gloucestershire. Photo: The British Museum

The small dog statue is 8 inches long and more than 5 inches tall and shows a standing canine with a long torso. Its shoulders are decorated with patterns of ovals and chevrons to give the appearance of leaves or feathers, according to a database of the artifacts from the British Museum. “On the underside there is a large square hole in the stomach and its genitals are clearly displayed.”

Apart from the dog statue,…

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