A new analysis has discovered that a faded looking marble slab, used for 10 years as a starting point in an English garden, is actually a rare ancient Roman engraving.
The discovery surprised its owner, who learned that the 25-inch (63 cm) slab – a stone she had previously used as a ladder during her installation. horse It dates back to the second century AD and was valued at about $ 20,400 (15,000 pounds sterling).
However, no one knows how this marble masterpiece ended up in England. It was likely carved in Greece or Asia Minor (present-day Turkey), according to a statement from Woolley & Wallis, the British auction house that sells the tablet.
Some of the stone’s history is known: It was discovered from a rock garden in the village of Whiteparish in southern England, about 20 years ago, according to Woolley and Wallis. Then, the woman who owned the stable used the mud-covered stone for a decade as a holding block until, one day, she noticed a laurel wreath etched onto its surface. An archaeologist who evaluated the tablet revealed that it was a rare find. Its inscription reads, “The people (and) the young (honor) Demetrius (son of) Mitrodorus (son) of Lucius,” The Daily Mail reported.
Although the ancient Roman Empire extended to the British Isles, this tablet was not made locally; It was likely brought to England about 300 years ago, according to Woolley and Wallis.
“Artifacts of this type often came to England as a result of Grand Tours in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when wealthy aristocrats roamed Europe to learn about classical art and culture,” said Will Hobbs, an archeologist at Woolley and Wallis. . In the statement. “We assume this is how the UK got into but the complete mystery is how it ended up in a home garden, and this is where we want to help the public.”
The rock garden in Whiteparish is part of a house built in the mid-1960s, and auctioneers hope someone will remember the details or people involved in building it.
“There are several possibilities for where the stone originated,” Hobbes said. The English cottages known as “Cowesfield House and Broxmore House” were very close to Whiteparish and were demolished in 1949 after they were previously taken over. [British] “The army was during the war,” he said, but we also know that the house is where it is now [family theme park] The Boltons Park was destroyed by fire in 1963, so the rubble may have been reused from there on construction sites in the area shortly thereafter. “
Previously, Woolley and Wallis had planned to auction the slab in February, but the auction house has changed the timeframe since then to Spring.
Originally published on Live Science.