Most archaeological discovery digs on development sites bear little fruit. There might be some broken pottery and rusty shards of metal, but most of the time nothing of interest is unearthed.


That is not the case at The Forum, Gloucester’s new £107m social and digital quarter being developed by Gloucester City Council and Reef Group.

The dig, led by Cotswold Archaeology, has already found remains of the city’s medieval Whitefriars Carmelite friary.

Even more excitingly, the team recently dug up a 17cm-high, 1,800-year-old pipeclay figurine (pictured). Archaeologists believe it is a depiction of the Roman goddess of love Venus and say it would have been worshipped as a religious icon.

Esther Croft, development director at Reef, said: “We could never have imagined that such a lovely artefact as the Venus figurine would be recovered. We look forward to seeing this wonderful piece put on public display in the city for everyone to enjoy.”