Experts say ancient head found in Rome is Dionysus

Ancient marble head found in Rome dates back to the Imperial age.

The white marble head unearthed during excavations at the Roman Forum on 24 May is believed to represent a male deity, most likely Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, according to Rome archaeologists.

Initially it was thought that the head - with its feminine features and thick, wavy hairstyle - represented a female goddess.

However, thanks to a band around its head decorated with a "typically Dionysian flower, the corymb, and ivy", it is now believed to be Dionysus, explained the director of Rome's archaeological museums Claudio Parisi Presicce.

The slightly larger-than-life head has been dated to the imperial age, which corresponds from the first century BC to the fifth century AD, and is described as being in an "excellent state of preservation."

"The hollow eyes, which were probably filled with glass or precious stones, date it to the first centuries of the empire", Parisi Presicce told Italian news agency ANSA.

Dug up on Via Alessandrina, the head was embedded in a late-Mediaeval wall. Experts are convinced it was reused as building material, as often happened in the Middle Ages. 

The Republic of Azerbaijan donated €1 million towards the excavation, following an agreement reached in 2014 during the administration of former mayor Ignazio Marino.

Watch below the moment the head is uncovered:

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Address Via Alessandrina, Roma RM, Italy

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Experts say ancient head found in Rome is Dionysus

Via Alessandrina, Roma RM, Italy