A conservator at the Museum of London Archaeology cleans a sculpture of a Minories eagle and serpent found in London
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Rare Roman eagle sculpture found on hotel building site

A "phenomenally important" Roman sculpture of an eagle has been discovered by archaeologists in the final hours of a dig at a London building site.

The finely carved stone shows a "very rare" image of the eagle clasping a serpent in its beak, with only one other known example in Britain.

Archaeologists say it is in a state of "outstanding preservation", after being found during the site's redevelopment into a 16-storey hotel.

They believe the sculpture was made in Britain around 100AD out of Cotswold oolitic limestone. It it thought to have stood in a mausoleum in a cemetery close to Aldgate.

Louise Davies, archaeologist at the Museum of London Archaeology, explains the significance of the find to the Today programme's John Humphrys.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 30 October 2013.

  • 30 Oct 2013
  • From the section UK
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