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Archaeology & History

'Hand of Hercules' belonged to 40ft statue

By T.K. Randall
November 9, 2015 · Comment icon 13 comments

All that remains of a once mighty statue. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Deror_avi
Archaeologists believe that a giant marble hand in Jordan once belonged to a gigantic statue of Hercules.
Located in the city of Amman, the Temple of Hercules, which was originally constructed between 162 and 166 AD during the Roman occupation, was an undeniably impressive building for its time.

While it was never entirely finished, what was there exceeded the size of any temple in Rome - a structure fit for the hero to whom it was dedicated. Measuring 100ft long and 85ft wide, the temple was surrounded by six 33-foot-tall columns and an outer sanctum over 400ft across.

While unfortunately most of the structure now lies in ruins, one of the most curious things still left at the site is a large marble hand which, having only three digits, seems suspiciously out of place.
Archaeologists now believe that this disembodied limb would have once belonged to a gigantic 40ft marble statue of Hercules that stood beside the temple.

Its size would have made it one of the largest marble statues ever to exist anywhere in the world.

With most of its remains now missing from the site however - no doubt having been used in antiquity as building materials - the statue's original appearance has since long been lost in the mists of time.

Source: Slate.com | Comments (13)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by BeastieRunner 9 years ago
Too bad the main statue didn't survive.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Red_readerhockeycat_fishez 9 years ago
That sculptured remnant is impressive by itself. It looks like a monster from a Harry Hausen picture.
Comment icon #6 Posted by aquatus1 9 years ago
I had no idea marble could be sculpted into a 40-foot statue. I thought it was a relatively soft stone.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Lilly 9 years ago
Large marble statues may have been carved in sections and placed together over some type of framework. The famed (7 wonders of the ancient world) statue of Zeus (also 40 feet) was erected over a framework. The Hercules statue may have been created in a similar manner.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Infernal Gnu 9 years ago
I don't mean to start a conspiracy theory, but I think Samson destroyed it in a fit of jealous rage that a 40 foot tall statue wasn't built of him.
Comment icon #9 Posted by AustinHinton 9 years ago
What might have been one of the largest sculptures ever, and all we have to remember it by is three fingers...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Captain Dumbass 9 years ago
Unfortunately religious nut cases has the habbit of destroying art and depictions that doesn't favor their "god". Especially christians and muslims has done this systematicly through history.
Comment icon #11 Posted by chris6a2 9 years ago
Would've been great to see the statue in one piece.. =)
Comment icon #12 Posted by Captain Dumbass 9 years ago
Would've been great to see the statue in one piece.. =) Me too... now we just have the 40ft boots to look at
Comment icon #13 Posted by Harte 9 years ago
Unfortunately religious nut cases has the habbit of destroying art and depictions that doesn't favor their "god". Especially christians and muslims has done this systematicly through history. Which artworks were destroyed by Christians? Harte


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