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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Bosham Head Represents Emperor Trajan

Thursday, October 03, 2013

CHICHESTER, ENGLAND—Miles Russell and Harry Manley of Bournemouth University have used 3-D laser scanning technology to examine the Bosham Head, which was discovered 200 years ago in a flower bed in the vicarage garden in Bosham. The monumental sculpture had remained unidentified because it is badly weathered. The new scans, however, revealed facial features and a distinctive hairstyle linked to Emperor Trajan. Russell thinks the statue may have been erected by Trajan’s successor, Hadrian, at Chichester Harbor, since it is known that he installed a similar statue in Ostia. “There would have been this immense statue of the Emperor facing you as you came in to the harbor, so it’s a real Welcome to Britain statue but reminding you that Britain is part of the Roman Empire,” he said.

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