The London Eagle Flies
Another month, and another extraordinary archaeological find, this time a complete Roman eagle with a snake in its beak, carved in the first century AD, at a time when the Roman city was exploding in population and wealth. It is believed to have stood on an imposing mausoleum, on the roadside edge of the eastern cemetery just outside the city walls.
It lay in the Minories (an area near the Tower of London) for almost 2,000 years, surviving in almost perfect condition while Tudor cellars, Victorian warehouses and 20th century concrete pilings were punched through the earth around it, until the last day of an excavation to raise a 16-storey hotel on the site.
It is now being restored at the Museum of London by an attractive young woman and not an elderly professor or anyone unphotogenic like that. Actually, this shot came from the Guardian, so let’s have a proper photo of the eagle that shows the statue, from the Independent, the newspaper that has gone from strength to strength this year despite the fact that no-one buys it except me, and not simply because I’m in it.
Branching off a little here, I know, but I’ll be glad when press in print has gone so that all papers can be judged equally once more. The Indie really is a good read; check out the app.