French archeologists have made a remarkable discovery in Brittany, unearthing a variety of objects in a Roman-era landfill. The team from the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) stumbled upon an ancient shale quarry that is believed to be at least 1,800 years old. Among the treasures found are two exceptionally well-preserved statuettes of the goddess Venus, made of terracotta. The site director, Nicolas Ménez, expressed excitement over the find, stating that these statuettes are rarely found in such pristine condition.
The Venus statuettes are of two different types: one depicts the “mother goddess” or Venus genetrix draped in cloth, while the other portrays the Venus anadyomene, naked and emerging from the sea. These figures were likely created in the ancient quarry, which was likely used to build Condate (Civitas Riedonum), the main settlement of the Riedon tribe during Gallo-Roman times.
In addition to the Venus statuettes, the archaeologists also uncovered pottery shards, coins, pins, and glass fragments at the site. Remarkably, evidence of domestic activities from the 17th century, such as remains of wooden buildings, ovens, and pipes, were also found, adding another layer of historical significance to the discovery.
The excavation is ongoing, and experts believe that there is still much more to be uncovered at the quarry. The team is taking great care to preserve any traces of pigments on the Venus statuettes, and the find has already shed new light on the history of the region. This discovery has opened a new chapter in the story of these goddess figurines and the ancient quarry, and archaeologists eagerly anticipate further revelations as their research continues.