Roman sarcophagus’ lid destroyed by vandals

Dorset Police, is looking for vandals who were involved in the destruction of the lid of an empty Roman sarcophagus that was on display in Prince Charles’s urban development in Dorset, United Kingdom.

Broken lid of the sarcophagus (by Dorset Police)

According to the authorities, the 1600-year-old artefact was destroyed beyond repair in mid-April. Due to the weight of the lid, it is likely to have taken several people to remove it. The artefact, dating from about the 4th Century AD was considered as being of very great historical interest. It was one of the several unearthed during work on a nearby industrial estate in the 1960s. It is believed they are evidence of one the earliest Christian burial sites in Roman Britain. When discovered, the coffin contained human remains along with remnants of cloth which indicated it held the body of a senior official. In August the sarcophagus was placed on display between the columns of Brownsword Hall in the centre of Poundbury until a permanent home could be found for it. It was during the display in this place when the destruction happened. Police officers are seeking any information about anything suspicious in the area when the incident occurred.

The intact sarcophagus earlier on display (by Trustees of Brownsword Hall)

(after Dorset Police, Trustees of Brownsword Hall & BBC News)

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