Two Roman statues were discovered earlier this month after a resident from Beit Shean (Bissan in Arabic) took a stroll north of the old city’s ancient site, according to a statement released by Israel's Antiquities Authority on Sunday.
The statues' discovery is important for understanding late Roman period style, as no two statues from this time period resemble each other.
The woman noticed the top of a head of one of the statues while walking in the vicinity of the ancient Biblical site, also known as Scythopolis, that had been partially uncovered, the authority said in a statement. The resident and her husband alerted the authority’s Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit, which quickly arrived at the site and uncovered the statue. They dated the finding to the late Roman-early Byzantine period (third to fourth centuries CE).
During their visit, the unit uncovered an additional Roman-era statue. The statues were then transferred to the authority’s laboratories for preservation and research.
The statues that were found were made of local limestone, and have distinctive features of clothing and hair, according to Dr. Eytan Klein, deputy director of the authority’s Theft Prevention Unit. One statue appears to be the figure of a man with a beard.
Such artifacts are usually placed near or inside burial caves, and are intended to be a likeness of the deceased.
Similar sculptures have been found in the past near the region of Beit Shean and in northern Jordan.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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