WithFirst, in July last year, archaeologists thought they had found a piece of wood. He then saw a carved human figure in the water-soaked ditch, which has since been recognized as an important find from the early Romano-British period. The longer you look at the statue sixty-seven centimeters high, eighteen centimeters wide, the more it appears. Hair or headgear can be made on the head, which is slightly turned to the left, even the nose and eye sockets. Aakriti wears a tunic-like garment that ends above the knees. The pottery fragments found in the same trench date back to between 43 and 70 AD. The purpose of a piece’s carbon analysis is to show whether the wood’s shape comes from the same period.
Archaeologists speculate that it may have been a deliberately buried offering rather than a discarded item. The discovery from the area of Twyford in Buckinghamshire, about forty miles west of London, is significant, also because works of art from this era made of organic material rarely come to us. In this case, the wood survived because of the lack of oxygen in the moist soil. Nothing comparable has been discovered since the discovery of the “Dagenham Idol” on the north bank of the Thames over a hundred years ago, an anthropomorphic wooden figure from the late Neolithic period.
The figure is one of several discoveries that have surfaced since 2018 regarding the construction of the new London-Birmingham high-speed railway line. Only a few days earlier, the excavations of a lost Roman trading town with a road ten meters wide on the site of a former sewage field near Leicester in central England became known. Fountains, workshops, furnaces and foundries, as well as more than three hundred Roman coins, glass and pottery and pieces of jewelery scattered throughout the region indicate vibrant commercial activity.
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