Archaeologists cleaning the exterior of the Colosseum in Italy last week have discovered a medieval horse skull. The discovery was made while cleaning the area around the steps of the amphitheatre’s foundation. Workers with the Archaeology Superintendence found the skull buried only a few centimetres under the surface.

The horse skull dates back to the 12th-13th century, but further tests will have to be conducted to gain more information on the horse’s age, state of health or, perhaps, its role at the amphitheatre.

The cleaning is part of a large restoration project of the Colosseum, financed by Tod’s shoe and bag empire. The first phase of the project, cleaning the exterior, was completed last summer, three years after it started. The next phase will focus on the underground vaults and passages and a new visitor’s centre will be constructed.

Plenty of animal remains have been found in the area around the Rome monument, with many on display in its museum.