Ancient Roman statues discovered during HS2 high-speed railway dig

Archaeologists who were working on the UK's HS2 high speed railway plan discovered two complete statues of a woman and a man.
One of the Roman statues found at the St Marys Church, Stoke Mandeville (UK PA Media).

An amazing set of Roman statues was discovered by archaeologists who were digging along the route of the UK's high-speed rail HS2. This was the exact spot where St. Marys, a medieval Church in Stoke Mandeville (Buckinghamshire), once stood.

The head of a child and two complete statues that appear to represent a man or woman were also found. Another large piece of a hexagonal glass Roman Jug, which was thought to have been in the ground for more than 1000 years, was also found. The only comparable item is a vessel that is on display at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rachel Wood, the lead archaeologist at Fusion JV, said to the Press Association news agency that they are extremely important because they are very rare finds in the UK. It would be amazing to find one stone head or one pair of shoulders, but we have two heads and shoulders complete as well as another head.


She said that they are even more important archaeologically as they have helped to change our understanding of the area before the medieval church was built.

The findings from the old St Marys Church were sent to a laboratory for special cleaning and analysis. Wood said that the discoveries are so important and remarkable that we hope they end up being displayed for the benefit of the community.

Experts believe that the site was once a Roman mausoleum. The church has been cleared of approximately 3000 bodies and they will be reburied on a new location.

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