Kent Archaeological Review extract

Roman Marble Head Found at Dover.
by Anne McLeod.

PHOTO: Professor Jocelyn Toynbee admires the marble head.

Professor Jocelyn Toynbee admires the marble head held proudly by a member of the Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit.

This superb marble head was found in a third century Roman sewer near the famous 'Painted House' with its 450 square feet of frescoes covering two rooms. The head is a portrait, probably in Greek marble, of a wealthy Roman matron who must have lived in Dover in the second century AD. Prof J Toynbee, a leading authority on Roman art, who visited the excavations at Dover, said that the head was in the style of the Empress SABINA, wife of HADRIAN (117- 138 AD).

The head is delicately carved with waving hair drawn back from the forehead over a form of diadem. Kiss curls at the temples and in front of the ears complete a face which is both beautiful and dignified. This is certainly the finest Roman marble head to be found in Britain since Mithras was discovered in London more than 20 years ago.

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