A two-thousand-year-old marble head depicting Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, has been found in a small Italian town, Isenia. Some of the small town’s walls date back to imperial Rome, according to Smithsonian.
Augustus ruled from 27 B.C. until he died in 14 A.D. He was the first Roman emperor. Julius Caesar also adopted him.
Archaeologist Francesco Giancola discovered the restoration works of a medieval wall that collapsed in 2013.
"While we were digging behind the wall, I saw that the earth changed colour," he said to CNN
"So we continued digging with precision trowels, and a block of marble has come out. I immediately saw that it was a 'head' that I recognized as belonging to a statue of Augustus due to the hair and the shape and cut of the eyes."
The head's distinct "sallow-tail" hairstyle, thick strands of hair divided and parted in a distinctive 'V' shape was Augustus' signature style.
Bust of Augustus wearing the Civic Crown at Glyptothek, Munich. Image source via Wikipedia
According to Maria Diletta Colombo, archaeologist of the cultural heritage ministry, the head can be dated between 20 BC and 10 AD.
The head is likely to have been detached from a statue that was more than 2 meters in height and made from the same Lunigiana marble used by the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo.
Isernia, known as Aesernia in the ancient world, was the home of an Italic people named the Samnites. The neighbouring powers in Italy fought over it throughout the first century B.C. because it was the "gateway" into the rest of the Italian peninsula.
Eventually, it became a Roman colony. The town was partially destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt.
Isernia has a very ancient history, and archaeological remains underneath the whole city said Giacomo D'Apollonio told CNN