For more than two centuries, residents of a small district in southern England have puzzled over a giant stone known as the "Bosham Head." About twice the size of a human head, the badly eroded stone was believed to have once had human features. Now, researchers believe they know whose head it was modeled after.
The mystery may have been solved thanks to a pair of researchers from Bournemouth University. Using 3D laser scanning technology, Dr. Miles Russell, a senior lecturer in prehistoric and Roman archaeology, and Harry Manley, from the School of Applied Sciences, analyzed the Bosham Head and concluded it was once part of a statue of the Roman Emperor Trajan.
The 375-pound head first turned up around 1800, when it was discovered with little fanfare in the tiny village of Bosham near Chichester, England. It then found its way to the garden of the Bishop of Chichester, where it was exposed to the elements and suffered further erosion, according to a statement released by the university.