2,000-year-old statue of Hercules discovered in ancient city in Greece

An ancient statue of Hercules dating back nearly 2,000 years has been discovered in Greece. The sculpture was found as part of a building and is “larger than life”. according Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.

A team of researchers from Aristotle University were carrying out excavations in the ancient city of Philippi when they discovered an ornate building or fountain with special architectural decoration. The building dates from the 8th or 9th century.

The building included a statue of Hercules dating from Roman times or the 2nd century. Roman-era statues found in this area adorned buildings until the following Byzantine period, according to the ministry.

Photos of the sculpture of Hercules show that it was embedded under rock and earth when it was discovered in Philippi.

Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports

Photos of the Hercules sculpture show it buried under rock and earth, and when it was excavated parts of the statue were detached. The statue also included a club, which was found in fragments, and a lion hanging from the outstretched left hand, believed to symbolize a hero.

Hercules is one of the most famous figures in Greek mythology. He was born human, but with divine strength, and his father was Zeus, ruler of all gods and humans.

Philippi was the site where Mark Antony, the Roman general under Julius Caesar, and Augustus, who later became emperor, fought a battle that killed Brutus and Cassius, who assassinated Julius Caesar.

The city was developed as a “little Rome” when the Roman Empire was established decades later.

Thousands of years later, his remains rest in northeastern Greece. There is a theater and a temple, Roman buildings like a forum or a court, and basilicas, which were built when Christianity established itself in the city, according United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

CBS News has contacted Aristotle University and the excavation’s senior researcher for more information and is awaiting a response.

About John A. Provost

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