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Roman sculpture is found in cupboard
11:00am Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
A RARE Roman sculpture which had been missing for almost a century has been discovered – in a cupboard at Sudeley Castle.
The artefact from 150AD- 300AD depicts a hunter god called Apollo Cunomaglos.
It was discovered at the Winchcombe castle by archivist Jean Bray when she was asked to clear out a cupboard.
“We found this stone sculpture wrapped up on the floor,” said Mrs Bray.
“I didn’t know what he was so I had him moved to my office.”
The Rev Professor Martin Henig, honorary professor at the Institute of Archaeology in the University College London, said it was from the 2nd- 4th Century (150-300AD) and had been considered missing for decades.
“It’s a very exciting find and adds to our knowledge about the Romans in the Cotswolds,” he said.
The stone relief, which Professor Henig said is of major significance, shows the god wearing a tunic, conical cap and a bow and arrow. The sculpture was first discovered by Emma Dent, former owner of Sudeley Castle, in the 19th century.
When Lady Ashcombe and her late husband took over the castle in the 1970s there were rooms full of untouched boxes containing Ms Dent’s extensive collection.
Lady Ashcombe said: “Until now we had thought Henry VIII’s last surviving wife Katharine Parr was our most famous resident.
“It was a surprise to us all to discover the ‘lost’ Cotswold deity had been quietly sitting in a cupboard in Sudeley’s archives all this time, waiting to be found.”
Experts believe there are only seven other known depictions of Apollo Cunomaglos, four from the Cotswolds – including at Chedworth Villa – and three from London.
Visitors can see it on display.
For details visit sudeleycastle.co.uk.