Let’s rewind to May 24, 2019, in Rome. The sun is beating down, and archaeologists in the heart of Italy’s culture-rich capital are about to excavate a new structure. In fact, they’re planning to hack away at a wall that dates back to the latter part of the medieval period. But before they begin, they notice something. There’s a section of this construction that stands out – and once uncovered, its wonders will be fully revealed.
The sight in question initially appears to be just another brick in the wall. However, on closer inspection, swirls of marble emerge from the layers of soil and dust. And it’s this that provides the first clue as to what exactly is lodged between the other rough stones that complete the structure.
So, clump by clump, the archaeologists begin pecking away at this oddly shaped brick. Their suspicions are then confirmed: it’s no ordinary piece of building material. As hunks of soil crumble at their feet and in turn reveal the object, what emerges are the smooth yet intricate facial features of a large marble head.