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Archaeologists unearth carving of Roman fertility god

Carved heads of both male and female Roman gods were found in Papcastle, England, and archaeologists believe a two-foot-tall fertility statue is a local deity from thousands of years ago. Archaeologists described the fertility statue, nicknamed Genius Loci, as a "once in a lifetime" find.

The male statue wears a Phrygian cap, and the archaeologists suspect the statue is either Mithras, a god worshipped from the first to fourth centuries C.E., or Attis, a Greek god. The male figure holds a cornucopia and a patera, which were both ancient symbols of fertility. The female figure, meanwhile, is likely Cybele, the only known female Phrygian deity.

Archaeologists first discovered the Roman village after flooding in 2009. The area has since yielded a significant amount of Roman pottery.

"This happens once in a lifetime," Frank Giecco of Wardell Armstrong Archaeology, which led the excavation, told Culture24. "You can work in archaeology all your life and never find anything like that. It's incredible."