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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Marble Slab Woman Discovered in Her Garden Was Actually Ancient Engraving Worth $20K

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Some people are quite aware of the items in their possession that are worth a chunk of change. Other times, it’s old heirlooms, garage sale finds or unexpected buried treasure that ends up being worth a pretty penny.

For one English woman in Whiteparish, it was a large, squared-off rock.

The woman had found the rock — which was no mere rock at all, but a marble slab — in her garden nearly two decades ago.

After unearthing it, it sat around for some time, but for the past decade the stone had taken up its humble position as a mounting block in the woman’s stable.

As a large and sturdy slab, it was perfect for the task. But at some point, after using it as a glorified stepping stool for years, the woman noticed there was something carved into the stone.

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Wondering if there could be more to this block, she took it to an archaeologist, who identified it as an ancient relic.

The marble slab bears an inscription and two laurel wreaths. It’s estimated to have come from the 2nd century, from either Asia Minor or Greece, Woolley & Wallis, an auction house in the United Kingdom, reported in a news release.

According to CNN, the translated writing reads: “The people (and) the Young Men (honor) Demetrios (son) of Metrodoros (the son) of Leukios.”

The woman contacted Woolley & Wallis, and is looking to auction the relic off. Before that happens, though, the auction house is trying to find out more about the stone’s origins.

“Artefacts of this type often came into England as the result of Grand Tours in the late 18th and 19th century, when wealthy aristocrats would tour Europe learning about Classical art and culture,” Antiquities Specialist Will Hobbs of Woolley & Wallis said in the news release.

“We assume that is how it entered the UK, but what is a complete mystery is how it ended up in a domestic garden, and that’s where we’d like the public’s help.”

“There are several possibilities of where the stone might have originated,” Hobbs continued.

“Both Cowesfield House and Broxmore House were very close to Whiteparish and were demolished in 1949 after having been requisitioned by the army during the war.

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“But we also know that the house at what is now Paulton’s Park was destroyed by fire in 1963 and so possibly rubble from there was reused at building sites in the area shortly afterwards.”

Perhaps someone who knows something more about the stone will be able to add to the slab’s known history.

According to Woolley & Wallis, initial estimates for what this former mounting block could bring in hovers around $13,500 to $20,500 — not bad for a rock from the garden that’s been hanging around longer than anyone knew.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking