Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Spectacular Roman Rooster Figurine Restored

Thursday, March 14, 2013

RoosterCIRENCESTER, ENGLAND—An enameled bronze rooster figurine dating to 100 A.D. and discovered in a Roman child's grave has just been restored. According to archaeologist Neil Holbrook, the object is the most important artifact found in the past 40 years at Cirencester, once the second largest Roman town in Britain. Conservation work highlighted the fine detail and workmanship that went into the figurine. "This must have cost, in current money, thousands of pounds to buy and countless hours to make," says Holbrook. "To actually put this into the grave of a two or three-year-old child is not something that you would do lightly." It's possible the figurine was left in the grave because roosters were associated with Mercury, who accompanied souls to the afterworld.