The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) recovered an impressive Roman sarcophagus that workers tried to hide at a construction site after unexpectedly discovering it. As it turned out, the limestone coffin is 1,800 years old and, according to the Israeli authorities, it is the most important and beautiful object of this type found within Israel. The sarcophagus weighs two tons and is 2.5 meters long, and each side is decorated. The lid features a life-size human figure. He has the curly hair of the Romans and wears an embroidered short-sleeved shirt.
The sarcophagus, dated to the 2nd century CE, was found in Ashkelon, a coastal city in southern Israel that was a cultural mix during Roman times: Romans, Jews and Samaritans lived there. According to the authorities, the workers who found the find unskilfully excavated it from the ground, which caused serious damage. According to scientists, the sarcophagus was most likely made for a wealthy Roman family. On the cover, we can see the figure of the man with whom the deceased was probably buried. In addition, on the individual sides of the coffin, you can see carved wreaths, bullheads, naked Cupids or the mythical Medusa. According to the IAA, there may be many other valuable finds at the site where the sarcophagus was found.