A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Roman-Era Trash Pit in France Yields Venus Figurines
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
RENNES, FRANCE—According to a Live Science report, a Roman-era quarry that was later used as a trash pit has been excavated in northern France by researchers from the French National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP). Among the refuse, the researchers discovered two terracotta figurines of the goddess Venus, pottery fragments, coins, pieces of glass, and clothing pins. Stone from the quarry was likely used to build the Roman town of Condate Riedonum in the first century A.D. By the second century, however, people were depositing trash at the site. One of the Venus figurines represents Venus genetrix, the mother goddess, with her torso draped in fabric. The second figurine is of Venus anadyomene, showing the nude goddess wringing water from her hair as she rises from the sea. The researchers added that the quarry had been filled in by the medieval period, when it was used as a space for craft production. By the seventeenth century, a boarding school for girls stood at the site. A plumbing pipe from this period was also uncovered. To read about another Venus figurine unearthed at France's ancient Roman city of Vienna, go to "A Day by the Rhone."
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