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Roman-Era Wooden Arm Discovered in England

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Roman wooden arm

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that a 2,000-year-old model of a human arm carved from wood has been recovered from a Roman well in England’s East Midlands. The waterlogged, oxygen-free conditions in the well preserved the rare sculpture. Wood specialist Michael Bamforth of the University of York said the limb lacks visible tool marks and was crafted from a single branch, employing a natural curve in the wood to form the “slender and gracile” arm’s elbow. It may have been designed to resemble the arm of a small adult or adolescent, and to serve as an offering to the gods, he added. There is no evidence that the arm was attached to a larger figure. For more on Roman Britain, go to “Foreign Funeral Rites.”