A hand sculpture found in the Roman fort of Vindolanda was probably associated with the cult of Jupiter Dolichenus. Scientists suspect that a small god’s image could once be found in the open palm.
Jupiter Dolichenus was a mysterious deity of the Romans, whose confession spread in the Roman Empire between the early 2nd and the half of the 3rd century CE. Most often, Jupiter was shown riding a bull and holding an ax and a lightning bolt. Jupiter Dolichenus comes from the East. The cult was available to both men and women of various social status.
The discovered hand sculpture was probably attached to the staff, which was used for blessing the faithful. Significantly, the remains of the temple of Jupiter Dolichenus, dating from the third century CE, were found in the fort of Vindolanda.