A Centuries-Old Marble Statue Was Just Discovered in a Bulgarian Sewer

A lot of the time, great discoveries happen by a complete accident.

At least, that was the case in Bulgaria last week when a crew of archaeologists unexpectedly unearthed a centuries-old artifact during a dig at the site of an ancient city called Heraclea Sintica, Reuters reported. The relic in question is actually a life-size marble sculpture of the Greek god Hermes that has been hidden away in a sewer for thousands of years.

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“Its head is preserved. [It’s in a] very good condition. There are a few fractures on the hands,” Lyudmil Vagalinski, who led the team of archaeologists, explained to Reuters.

Now known as the village of Rupite, Heraclea Sintica has a history that spans centuries. King Philip II of Macedon founded the city in southwestern Bulgaria between 356 B.C. and 339 B.C. The metropolis was then destroyed by an earthquake in 388 A.D. and subsequently abandoned around 500 A.D.

In what the archaeologists believe was a deliberate attempt to preserve the sculpture over time, the statue was covered in dirt and placed into the sewer where it sat for approximately 2,000 years. According to the experts, the statue is actually a Roman reconstruction of the ancient Greek original. “Everything pagan was forbidden, and they have joined the new ideology, but apparently they took care of their old deities,” Vagalinski added.

In addition to the recent Hermes statue excavation, this year has already seen its fair share of exciting discoveries. In January, French tourist Julien Navas unknowingly stumbled upon an insane 7.5-carat chocolate-colored diamond. The Parisian traveler was visiting Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas when he accidentally found the gem. “It was one of the most amazing surprises, after the birth of my daughter,” Navas told The Washington Post at the time.

Then, back in April, archaeologists came across a collection of frescoes during an excavation effort in Pompeii. The paintings decorated a banquet room and depicted different characters and figures from the Trojan War. “Pompeii is truly a treasure chest that never ceases to surprise and amaze us because, every time we dig, we find something beautiful and significant,” Gennaro Sangiuliano, Italy’s culture minister, said in a statement.

At this rate, who knows what could be dug up next?

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