Rare Head of Deity Mercury Discovered in Roman Settlement in The UK

Archeologists have uncovered a bodiless clay head of the Roman deity Mercury at Smallhythe Place, in Kent, the United Kingdom. Mercury was known as the Roman god of fine arts, commerce, and financial success.

Believed to be around 2,000 years old, the clay head is just one of less than 10 that have been discovered in Roman Britain, the National Trust conservation charity stated. Also, most of the clay heads depict female deities such as Venus. Most of the clay heads of Roman deities that have been found in the past were located in places such as central Gaul, which is in modern-day France, as well as the Rhin-et-Mosell region.

Clay heads were typically crafted by citizens of the Roman Empire as a means of worshipping the deities, with religion playing a major role in their daily lives. While the body of the clay head is missing, the archeological team that discovered it believes that the body would have been depicted in one of two ways—wearing a short cloak known as a chlamys or nude and holding a caduceus, which is a staff with twisted snakes that symbolizes medicine.

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