Today, we’re almost always shocked to hear the news of some ancient artifact or a fossil being excavated in someone’s backyard, but the reality is that the said backyard used to be someone’s home a few hundred or thousand years ago. Let’s fly over to Toledo and see what relics the archaeologists have uncovered this time. Spoiler alert: it’s a marble statue!
In the ancient Roman Empire, if you had substantial power and wealth, you could afford to have a statue of yourself carved out of stone or marble. This means that there were quite a few of these beautifully sculpted but somewhat hyperbolized chunks of rock back in the day. However, not many have lived to see the modern age. One such survivor is the titular Toledo statue.
A Roman marble statue, approximately one meter long, has been unearthed during archaeological work in the historic center of Toledo, according to the Consortium of the City of Toledo, which is in charge of the excavations. The statue represents a naked male, and from a technical standpoint, the craftsmanship is nothing short of fantastic. So far, only the torso and a few limb parts have been secured, but the site has not yet been fully excavated, and new archaeological materials could turn up at any moment.
This astounding find was made in the vicinity of the Roman cryptoporticus (an underground gallery built to compensate for the unevenness of the terrain), while the Toledo City Consortium was doing maintenance work under Navarro Ledesma street. The new discovery adds another piece to the complex puzzle of the Roman city of Toletum. According to ancient documents, Toletum was located on the road that linked two bigger cities — Augusta Emerita (Mérida) and Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza). It was an important lynchpin in the local iron industry that subsequently allowed the city to coin money. As time passed, the nearby cities were eventually swallowed by what used to be Toletum. Or at least that’s the working theory confirmed in part by such incredible archaeological finds as the aforementioned marble torso.
With each unearthed relic, historians are inching forward toward the truth.