Archaeologists have uncovered a marble head of the Roman emperor Augustus in the Italian town of Isernia, located in the region of Molise. According to a report by the Italian publication Il Giornale del Molise, the finding sheds new light on the imperial Roman impact in the region.
Led by archaeologist Francesca Giancola, the team of researchers found the head on Thursday and the discovery was announced by the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise. Il Giornale del Molise reports that the Augustus head “bodes well for other and more important, historical finds” for a town that was conquered by the Romans in 295 B.C.E. In 90 B.C.E., it was subsequently taken by the Samnites, an ancient people of southern Italy, and then fell back into Roman control.
[Read about some of the most important archaeological findings of the 2010s.]
The head of Augustus was found during an excavation of the city’s walls, on the Via Occidentale. In images posted to Facebook by the Archaeological Superintendence of Molise, the buried head appears in relatively good condition, with some visible damage to its nose.
Italian publications had previously reported that the parts of the Via Occidentale collapsed while being excavated. Speaking to the publication isNews, officials from the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise said that reports that the dig was mishandled contained “violent accusations.”
“Yes, it is really him, the emperor Augustus, found today during the excavation,” the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise wrote on social media. “Because behind the walls of a city, there are obviously the city and its history, which cannot be pierced with a concrete pile.”