Unknown Celtic Goddess Identified at British Museum

Scientists working on artifacts from a site in Hertfordshire, England have identified a statue of Senua, a Roman-British goddess previosly unknown to scholars, discovered along with a treasure of gold and silver offerings. Senua was probably the goddess of a stream in pre-Roman times who was later incorporated into the Roman goddess Minerva. That is the theory put forth by researchers working on an exciting find from recent excavations in Hertfordshire. A faceless, armless statue was identified as a yet-unknown pre-Roman Celtic goddess.

The identification was done at the British Museum by using X-rays to read the inscriptions on plaques found at the site of the shrine. While such shrines were common around springs in Celtic times, this one was extraordiary in that is contained a treasure of gold, silver and jewelry.

Ralph Jackson, Roman Curator of the British Museum said, "This is a hugely significant find, of national and international importance. Personal hoards, hidden in some crisis, are reasonably common. To find a hoard of a temple treasure, such as this one, is incredibly rare, not just in Britain but anywhere. To give Britain a new goddess is extraordinary."

The front of the statue of Senua was, sadly, lost to decay, but the back shows "a graceful woman with hair coiled in a bun," a tantalizing depiction of an unknown goddess.

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