A statue of Hercules in a manhole

Sometimes treasures are in the least thought of places. For example, in a sewer. This happened during repair work on some sewer pipes. Where? In the Appia Antica park in Italy. A statue of Hercules was found in a sewer.

It is a life-size marble statue of Hercules. The sculpture of the ancient mythological figure was created between 27 BC and 476 AD. Archaeologists assured that the statue was not found in its original place.

A statue of Hercules in a sewer was found in Rome.
A statue of Hercules in a sewer was found in Rome.

Hidden Hercules

“This area held a great surprise in store for us. It is a life-size marble statue. It exhibits the mace and lion’s mantle covering its head. We can identify it with certainty as a figure representing Hercules,” stated representatives of the Appia Antica Park.

However, the archaeologists made one observation. The sculpture was not found where it was probably displayed by the ancient Romans. They deduce that the statue was buried here during the construction of the sewer system. This happened in the first half of the 20th century.

“At that time there were no archaeological excavations. So this could have happened.” Francesca Romana Paoliglio, a member of the Italian Ministry of Culture, told local media.

The statue is life-size.
The statue is life-size.

More statues

The excavations took place in the extensive regional park of Appia Antica. This covers more than 4,500 hectares. Here there are numerous archaeological and historical monuments. Among these are aqueducts, the Via Latina and the Appian Way. This was an important commercial and strategic route. It linked Rome with the southern parts of the Apennine peninsula. It originally reached the Italian city of Capua and was later extended to the port of Brundisium, today’s city of Brindisi.

A statue of Hercules in a sewer was not the only surprise. Last December 30 there were others. A male statue more than two meters high was found. Also heads of statues of the gods of Greek mythology, Eros as Dionysus, and the demigod Herakles. They were discovered in the ancient city of Aizanoi in Turkey.

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