Sunday, April 13, 2008
"A fragment of an ancient Roman equestrian statue that once adorned the Colosseum has been found during excavations near the world famous Italian landmark.
According to the Italian daily, Il Messaggero, the fragment was discovered among the remains of an ancient pavement that once surrounded the amphitheatre.
"A marble fragment measuring one metre by a metre and a half, is from an equestrian statue, probably a statue that embellished the arches of the Colosseum," said archaeologist Silvana Rizzo, advisor to the minister of culture and tourism, Francesco Rutelli.
"The left flank of a rider with the detail of a leg, bridle and harness of a horse, as well as a part of a dagger scabbard are perfectly visible from the fragment," said Rizzo, who has spent his life doing Roman excavations.
"They are details that suggest the statue of an emperor and left us with the hope that we could find the entire statue."
Update: "Two days later the head of a male statue was discovered, both of which had been only 50cm below the surface. According to archaeologists the piece of the equestrian statue suggests one of an emperor due to its size and most likely adorned the arch over the imperial entrance. The head is too small to be that of the rider of the horse in the equestrian statue."