A life-sized marble statue of a man wearing a lion skin and carrying a club was discovered in the Appia Antica Archaeological Park during construction works of a sewer line.
Although wearing the skin of the Nemean lion, the facial features of the statue do not resemble the iconography of Hercules. So, as Francesca Romana Paolillo told Corriere della Sera it represents a figure dressed as Hercules and not the mythological hero himself.
The well-preserved statue was located under the older collapsed sewage pipe and next to the Tomb of Priscilla.
Archaeologists haven’t determined the age of the statue yet, due to lack of stratigraphic information as the statue was not in its original context, because in the 19th century, when the old sewer line was constructed, it was probably thrown into the soil layer underneath it. In order to date it, archaeologists have to seek similar artefacts and come to a conclusion by comparisons.
During the first analyses they have found a similarity between the statue and the emperor Gaius Messius Quintus Traianus Decius, better known as Decius Trajan, who reigned from 249 to 251.