Friday, 10 March 2017

Valuable Roman sarcophagus used as flower pot for 100 years

An ancient Roman sarcophagus worth up to £300,000 has been discovered on the grounds of Blenheim Palace where it had been used for the last 100 years as a flower pot. The historic marble coffin has been exposed to the elements for the last century and used as an oversized planter to grow tulips in a rock garden in Oxfordshire.

For 100 years before that the 1,800 year old sarcophagus was used as a makeshift water feature by the fifth Duke of Marlborough who obtained it in the 19th century.

Experts identified the basin as a white marble sarcophagus depicting Dionysian revelry dating back to 300AD. It's carvings depict a drunken Dionysus, the god of wine, leaning on an equally inebriated woodland satyr.

The extremely high quality of the sarcophagus panel suggests it was made in Rome for a high status member of the patrician elite. Officials have since moved the sarcophagus indoors.