Bronze statue of Hadrian from the legionary camp at Tel Shalem (Judaea), Israel Museum

A beautiful bronze of Hadrian discovered by a tourist…

FOLLOWING HADRIAN

A magnificent bronze statue of Hadrian, now on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, was found by chance by an American tourist in Tel Shalem (Beth Shean Valley, Israel) on 25th July 1975 while searching for ancient coins with a metal detector. Tel Shalem was once occupied by a detachment of the Sixth Roman Legion (Legio VI Ferrata). The 50 fragments of this statue were found in a building which stood at the center of the camp, perhaps in the principia (the headquarters tent or building).

Bronze statue of Hadrian, found at the Camp of the Sixth Roman Legion in Tel Shalem, 117–138 AD, Israel Museum, Jerusalem © Carole Raddato Bronze statue of Hadrian, found at the Camp of the Sixth Roman Legion in Tel Shalem, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
© Carole Raddato

This remarkable statue was apparently used for the ritual worship of the emperor. Evidence suggests that it may have been erected in AD 132-133 to commemorate Hadrian’s personal involvement in suppressing the Bar Kokhba revolt or that it…

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