Statue of Greek god uncovered by archaeologists during excavation of ancient Roman sewer in Bulgaria

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Archaeologists near Bulgaria’s southeastern border with Greece uncovered a nearly 7-foot statue of the ancient Greek god Hermes during a dig this week. 

The unexpected find happened during excavation of an ancient Roman sewer in the abandoned city of Heraclea Sintica, which was founded by King Philip II of Macedon between 356 and 339 B.C.E. 

The sprawling city was devastated by an earthquake in 388 A.D. 

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“Its head is preserved. (It’s in a) very good condition,” lead archaeologist Lyudmil Vagalinski said, explaining that the marble statue had been placed in the sewer and covered with dirt, possibly as Christianity was adopted as the official religion of the Roman Empire and pagan symbols were banned.

He added that the statue was a Roman copy of an ancient Greek original.

“Everything pagan was forbidden, and they have joined the new ideology,” Vagalinski said. 

He added, “but apparently they took care of their old deities.” 

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Heraclea Sintica, now the Bulgarian village of Rupite, was abandoned around 500 A.D. after going into rapid decline following the earthquake.

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