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1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue Unearthed from Parking Lot at Historic U.K. Estate: 'Complete Mystery'

A construction worker first discovered the marble head of the statue during work on a new visitor parking lot for Burghley House in the spring of 2023

<p>Burghley House</p> 1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue.

Burghley House

1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue.

A “mysterious” Roman statue, believed to be 1,800 years old, will soon be on display nearly a year after it was unearthed from the parking lot of an estate in England.

Greg Crawley, an excavator driver, discovered the marble head of a Roman woman in the spring of 2023 during the construction of a new visitor parking lot for Burghley House in Stamford, according to a news release. Two weeks later, a marble bust was also found not far from the location of the head.

Crawley said it was “a real shock” when he first spotted the item, according to ABC News. He also “couldn’t believe it” when he was told exactly what he had stumbled upon that day.

Related: Part of an Ancient Herculaneum Scroll Deciphered by AI 2,000 Years After Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

<p>Burghley House</p> 1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue.

Burghley House

1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue.

“It was an amazing feeling to have found something so old and special,” Crawley said, calling it his “best ever discovery.”

The British Museum was informed of the discovery, according to the estate.

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Experts believe the sculpture was brought back to the estate from one of Brownlow, the ninth Earl of Exeter's two tours of Italy in the 1760s, “when he purchased many antiquities” according to Wednesday’s press release.

The head and bust “were immediately taken to Burghley’s curator” after they were found. They were later sent to a professional conservator, who cleared up the items “before reassembling both pieces as they had been intended.”

An iron dowel was added to the statue after it was cleaned “allowing it to be attached to a bust or pedestal,” according to the estate.

<p>Burghley House</p> 1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue.

Burghley House

1,800-Year-Old Roman Statue.

Related: 2,000-Year-Old Roman Bust Bought for $35 at Texas Goodwill Heads to Germany Where King Once Kept It

The bust will be on display along the Hell Staircase at the historical Tudor-era mansion — which dates back to the 16th century — “alongside other sculptures that were purchased by the ninth Earl," when the estate opens for its spring season on March 16.

How the sculpture became buried in the parking lot remains “a complete mystery,” according to the estate.

"It remains a complete mystery how the head and bust ended up buried in the park, with explanations ranging from a bungled burglary to someone simply discarding the statue and it later being covered by soil," a representative from the estate told ABC News.

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