Roman Statue, Dating Back 1,800 Years, Unearthed in UK Parking Lot

Construction workers in the United Kingdom uncovered a nearly 2,000-year-old Roman statue while creating a parking lot.

Last year, digger driver Greg Crawley discovered the marble head of a Roman lady at the 16th-century country home Burghley House in Peterborough, England, while renovating it.

Two weeks later, a bust was discovered near the first find, and the remains were cleaned, analyzed, and reconstructed by a conservator, who dated the sculpture to the first or second century.

Experts remarked that an iron dowel had been put to the statue, allowing it to be affixed to a bust or pedestal, a modification that was traditionally made by Italian antiquities dealers in the late 18th century when selling objects to aristocracy visiting Italy.


Greg Crawley found the ancient statue head while building a parking lot. – Burghley House


“It is believed that it was during one of the ninth Earl’s two tours to Italy in the 1760s, when he purchased many antiquities, that he brought the sculpture back to Burghley,” the family said in a statement.

Brownlow Cecil, the ninth Earl of Exeter, inherited the title in 1754 and was an enthusiastic traveler and great art collector, according to the estate.

However, the estate is puzzled how the head and bust came up buried under earth in the parking lot, describing it as a “complete mystery.”

According to Burghley House, “explanations rang[e] from a bungled burglary to someone simply discarding the statue and it later being covered by soil.”

Crawley, the digger driver, said it was a “amazing feeling to have found something so old and special” and that it was his “best ever discovery.”

“I had a real shock when the digger bucket rolled over what I thought was a big stone to reveal a face,” Crawley said in a Burghley House statement.

“I couldn’t believe it when they told me it was a Roman marble statue,” he said.

The monument will now be displayed alongside other statues gathered by the ninth earl at Burghley House.

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