Capricorn Risen from the Dirt

Sorry about that headline; there’s some sort of pun trying to get out of there … from the Weston Mercury:

A RARE Roman figurine, believed to be almost 2,000 years old, has been found in North Somerset.

The ‘exceptional solid bronze’ Capricorn statue was found in Burrington using a metal detector and is being transferred to the Museum of Somerset in Taunton.

The 21cm tall statue weighs nearly a kilogram and is believed to date back to the first or second century AD.

The statue of Capricorn, a mythical creature with the head of a goat and the body and tail of a fish, was found near a known former Roman military base.

David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member responsible for heritage, said: “Roman Capricorn figurines are extremely rare, and this one is unique in Europe because of its quality and size.

“We are delighted to acquire it and display it in the museum for all visitors to enjoy.“

The article is accompanied by an okay photo, but there’s a better one at the Portable Antiquities Scheme database and a great description:

The figurine is in very good condition, missing only his horns. The breaks are well patinated. The hoofs and muscles of the legs are well moulded with incised curved lines on the front half suggesting hair. He has a pointed “goatee” beard which links to the front right ankle. The mouth is a straight incised line, with detailing of the hair on the snout shown with short incised lines. The nostrils are depicted by a pair of short but wide incised lines. The eyes are moulded lentoids with rounded eyebrows and a raised pointed oval eyeball, depressed iris and raised pupil. A band of thicker hair across the top of the head is moulded. The ears are sub-triangular and have a moulded hollow inside. The edge of this is decorated with radiating incised lines representing the hair. Behind the shoulders, the lines depicting hair turn to U shaped scales. The tail has moulded ribs separating the three fins, and moulded rippled lines representing the structure of the fins.

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