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Roman Forum find identified as Dacian warrior

Rome unearths ancient marble bust dating to second century AD.

The marble bust unearthed at Trajan's Forum on 19 July is believed to have been one of the approximately 60-70 statues of Dacian warriors which once decorated the upper level of the Forum of Trajan, dating back to the beginning of the second century AD.These statues were made from various types of marble, from pavonazzetto to porphyry to white marble, as in the case of the new discovery, described by Rome archaeologists as a 1.5-m high torso in good condition.

The find was made under Via Alessandrina, the small pedestrian street between Via dei Fori Imperiali and Trajan's Markets.

Archaeologists believe that the statue fell to the floor of the forum, presumably in the second half of the ninth century AD when the oldest structures were demolished to make building material, and there it has lain abandoned ever since.

This context of discovery varies from that of the head of Dionysus, otherwise known as Bacchus, found on 24 May, which had been reused intentionally as building material in a late mediaeval wall.

Similiar finds of statues of Dacian soldiers occurred in Trajan's Forum in 1998 and 2000, with the statues now on display at the nearby Mercati di Traiano Museum.

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

See related article about Trajan's Column and the Dacian Wars.

Photo Sovrintendenza capitolina ai beni culturali

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Address Via Alessandrina, Roma RM, Italy

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Roman Forum find identified as Dacian warrior

Via Alessandrina, Roma RM, Italy

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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