Cambridgeshire

Roman Jupiter donated to Cambridge museum

A Roman sculpture of the god Jupiter, dating from between the 2nd and 4th Century AD
The Roman sculpture was found by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit at Earith quarry

A Roman sculpture of the god Jupiter, dating from between the 2nd and 4th Century AD, has been donated to a Cambridge University museum.

Hanson Aggregates, which owns the Earith quarry where it was found in, has given the piece to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

It was discovered by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit which excavated the site between 1997 and 2007.

The sculpture is made from Upwell limestone from Norfolk.

It originally formed part of a larger monument topped with a freestanding figure (lion, sphinx or gryphon). Paws can be seen at the top of the cornice.

'Amazing find'

The drilled eyes of the face would have once been filled with coloured paste to make the sculpture more lifelike.

The historians did not find any other fragments of the original larger sculpture, suggesting this section was taken to the area, near Huntingdon, as a fragment.

It is likely it was re-used as a grave marker.

Christopher Evans, of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, said: "It was an amazing piece to find on a Fenland site, and it is truly gratifying that it can now be appropriately displayed for the wider public to appreciate."

The sculpture will be on display in the museum's ground floor Cambridge gallery from 10 December.

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