Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to welcome Roman God Jupiter in stone

By Culture24 Reporter | 04 December 2013

A limestone sculpture of the God Jupiter, considered one of the finest Roman archaeological discoveries ever made in East Anglia, is about to go on display

A photo of a large Roman grey stone sculpture showing the face of a god looking out
Jupiter rises in Cambridge© Dave Webb, Cambridge Archaeological Unit
Once used as a grave marker and found during a decade-long excavation in Cambridge, the stern-faced Roman sculpture will go on show to the public after being donated to the town’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Taken from a site known as The Camp Ground, where up to 200 citizens during Roman times, the face, which has drilled eyes, was excavated from Earith Quarry near Colne Fen in a dig concluded in 2007. The remains of a skeleton were found nearby, but archaeologists failed to find the larger sculpture it was a part of, with only a telltale part of a paw – probably of a lion and sphinx, the emblems of grave guardians – revealing its funereal symbolism.

“It was an amazing piece to find on a Fenland site,” said Christopher Evans, from Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

“It is truly gratifying that it can now be appropriately displayed for the wider public to appreciate.”

Experts say the eyes would have been filled with coloured paste in an attempt to make the deity more lifelike, cast in Upwell limestone, from Norfolk, as part of a monument headed by a “freestanding feline”.

The Camp Ground was an important settlement for the inland port linked to the Roman Car Dyke canal system. Boats similar to the modern double-width punts on the River Cam would have docked there, with warehouses and other non-domestic buildings built alongside the houses.

  • Sculpture goes on display from December 10 2013.

You might also like:

A Baltic Gem explores the mystery of an Amber pebble at Creswell Crags

Hacienda history and African fabric as MOSI encourages visitors to touch Everyday Relics

Durham archaeology team re-dates Buddha's birthday after Lumbini shrine dig in Nepal

What do you think? Leave a comment below.
Latest comment: >Make a comment
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at www.culture24.org.uk are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.
    Related listings (99)
    See all related listings »
    Related resources (194)
    See all related resources »
    Related collection items (8)
    See all related collection items »

    Events

    • 1 mile
    • 2 miles
    • 3 miles
    • 4 miles
    • 5 miles
    • 10 miles
    • 20 miles
    • 50 miles
    • Any time
    • Today
    • This week
    • This month
    • This year

    advertisement