Marcus Aurelius head found at Kom Ombo Temple

Dashing off a quick one tonight — little more than a picture, truth be told — due to extreme business/tiredness, if you’ll forgive me.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a bust of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius at the Temple of Kom Ombo, about 600 miles south of Cairo. The team was working on a groundwater reduction project at the temple when they came across the sculpture. The head is made of marble and is very finely carved, depicting the emperor with his characteristic wavy hair and beard. The find is noteworthy because statues of Marcus Aurelius are very rarely seen in Egypt, and this one is a particularly quality example.


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Comment by CW
2018-04-23 00:19:42

I’d like to know how they identified this as Marcus Aurelius. Inscription? Context of the site? Or was it simply a guess on how it looks?

Comment by Alessio
2018-04-23 03:09:30

Good point! – I likewise assume inscriptions or some form of other ‘context’. The wavy hair and beard, however, are characteristic to a couple of emperors from the time. When it comes to “spur tourism”, a ‘Marcus Aurelius’ counts probably more than a -let’s say- ‘Septimus Severus’ ;)

Comment by Trevor Butcher
2018-04-23 04:27:51

As confirmed by a local market trader, yer genuine Marcus Aurelius that is.

Comment by mike
2018-04-23 15:15:21

Looks like Marcus to me.

And why be surprised? Egypt had been a province of Rome for 400 years. Reportedly his former tutor, Lucius Volusius Maecianus, had been prefectural governor of Egypt at Marcus’ accession. Plus there have been likenesses of Marcus found on the Silk Road in Xi’an China (4000 miles from Rome), and also in ancient ruins near HCM City in Viet-Nam (~6000 miles from Rome).

On the other hand, is it a later import or hoax similar to the theories on the Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca head found as a grave offering in Toluca Valley of Mexico?

Comment by Scott Young
2018-04-23 19:54:28

The head shows the over expressive eyes and the characteristic treatment of the iris extenuating into the upper lid, and the notch for the glint of the eye or the pupil so characteristic of late Roman art. Compare to the monumental head of Constantine in Rome.

Comment by Renee Yancy
2018-04-24 16:40:08

I hope you’re getting some rest, and remember, you can take a day off occasionally!

Comment by co co
2018-04-24 21:21:19

It beggars belief that a person in a Library of rare books could be so unthinking as to handle this tome with his bare hands! Shame on him! Where are the cotton gloves?

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