The English woman found the slab in her garden about 20 years ago

By Joelle Goldstein
January 07, 2021 07:01 PM
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The Roman slab
| Credit: Woolley and Wallis Salerooms

An English woman unknowingly discovered a piece of history in her garden — and archeologists believe it's worth up to $20,000.

The marble slab was first found about 20 years ago in the southern England village of Whiteparish, according to a press release from Woolley and Wallis, the auction house that is now selling the historical rock.

For almost 10 years, the woman had been using the intricate slab as a horse mounting block in her stable.

It wasn't until she noticed a wreath carved into its surface that she decided to take the slab to an archeologist, who determined that the rock likely dates back to 2nd century AD with possible origins in either Greece or Asia Minor, the release stated.

"Artifacts of this type often came into England as the result of Grand Tours in the late 18th and 19th century, when wealthy aristocrats would tour Europe learning about Classical art and culture,” Woolley and Wallis' Antiquities specialist, Will Hobbs, explained in a statement.

The garden where the slab was found
| Credit: Woolley and Wallis Salerooms

Despite knowing how the slab may have entered the United Kingdom, Hobbs said it was still "a complete mystery" as to how it ended up in a domestic garden in Whiteparish and called on the public for their help.

The specialist noted in the release that the woman's bungalow on Common Road was built in the mid-1960s — a detail he hoped would lead someone who lived in the area at the time or worked on its construction to provide information of the rubble used.

CNN also reported that the slab has "The people [and] the Young Men [honor] Demetrios [son] of Metrodoros [the son] of Leukios" inscribed on its surface.

"There are several possibilities of where the stone might have originated," Hobbs said in the release. "Both Cowesfield House and Broxmore House were very close to Whiteparish and were demolished in 1949 after having been requisitioned by the army during the war."

"But we also know that the house at what is now Paulton’s Park was destroyed by fire in 1963 and so possibly rubble from there was reused at building sites in the area shortly afterwards," he added.

As officials look to gather more information, the auction house confirmed that the rock is expected to be sold at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury at a later date.

It currently holds a pre-sale estimate value of £10,000-15,000 ($13,564-$20,346 USD), the press release stated.