I have found an ancient statue covered in the ground. I am from Haifa, Israel. There are no old buildings nearby. Here is its photo; I don't know what it is!

enter image description here

I would like to know what period this statue belongs to.

  • 3
    The picture is very low quality, can't you give us a higher resolution one?
    – yannis
    May 24, 2013 at 15:04
  • this the camera of the laptop and I don't have any camera to post a higher resolution one ! I will try to catch it by camera phone and post it May 24, 2013 at 15:08
  • 4
    1) Where are you located? (Which city are you in or near?) 2) Are there any ruins or old buildings or sites near you? What cultures do they belong to? 3) We really need a clearer photo, and please photograph all sides of the object. May 24, 2013 at 15:28
  • 1
    @FayezAbdlrazaqDeab Can you take a picture of the words?
    – yannis
    May 25, 2013 at 3:59
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    it looks Roman, but the many-breasted (yes, they're not grapes) female figures on the sides depict earlier fertility goddesses. It's not a statue, it's a building ornament, or a part of one.
    – jwenting
    May 27, 2013 at 5:51

2 Answers 2


This is a marble plinth or capital for a decorative column, likely of Classical Roman origin - the harpies and the immodesty of the subjects particularly give it away. There was a major Roman city nearby at Caesarea.

It will be impossible to give you more information over the internet - your best bet would be to report its discovery to the Antiquities Authority. They'll give you credit for its discovery (a big deal! I'm jealous), and they'll be able to tell you more about it. You probably qualify as a collector, so you'll get to keep it, tho they may request to borrow it for study or display in a museum (A really big deal!).

Congratulations on your find.

  • The condition of the sculpture appears to be very good, for something that was left in the ground for 2000 years. Could this be a much more recent copy? May 31, 2013 at 14:26
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    @Eugene Seidel - Well, it is, essentially, a rock - and underground, it would be protected from weathering and vandalism. After the Romans came the Byzantines, who moved away from pre-christian imagery, and after them, Islamic cultures, who had a very different representational style, and Crusaders, who didn't have the skill or interest in pre-christian antiquity required to replicate roman decor. Jun 5, 2013 at 11:53

It is difficult to say as to who designed this object, due to the many images depicted. It is probably not a statue, but might be a remnant of a column. There is a figure who appears to be in a crucified position-(most likely representing Jesus), though the sides of the statue have multi-breasted figures-(probably Goddesses). The top of the object has a skull, though its meaning mystifies me.

Anthropologists have a term called, "syncretism", which is the joining of 2 or more cultural characteristics, thereby producing a newer cultural characteristic.

This object appears to have mixed cultural characteristics.If it is Roman, it is probably in between Constantine and Theodosius. The 300's AD /CE, in much of the Roman Empire, was still pagan, though Christianity under Constantine was legalized and then nationalized by Theodosius nearly 70 years later. This object appears to show a Christ-like figure surrounded by pagan imagery, perhaps suggesting the declining significance of paganism and the rising significance and centrality of the Christian message. Again, this is just pure speculation on my part; I am not an Art Historian.

The problem though is that this object doesn't appear to be ancient, it actually appears to be more modern. Perhaps Architects, when working in British colonial Palestine during the first half of the 20th century chose to design a Western style column with surrounding Christian and pagan imagery. For what reason.....I don't know; once again, pure speculation.

It is admittedly, one of the more mysterious works of art/architecture I have seen in recent times. I am sure there are professional archaeologists who can evaluate its time period and cultural origin with greater accuracy.

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