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Found by a local fisherman off Bosham, West Sussex, this headless and abraded stone statue is interpreted as having an ecclesiastical origin.
The statue, in imported granite, is wearing a draped garment similar to a Roman toga. Stone artefacts are dated through typological stylings and the absence of the head and abrasion of finer details makes dating of this find with any precision difficult. The statue itself is not thought to come from the Romano-British period; with the 12th century being the latest possible date for its manufacture, with the Roman-like rather than Roman origin pointing to the 7th century as the earliest date.
How the statue came to be offshore is unknown but two scenarios have been suggested. The statue may have fallen victim to a post-medieval iconoclasm. Alternatively, the statue may have been damaged and cast into the sea during civil unrest, such as the siege of Chichester during the English Civil War or the sacking of the city by earlier invaders.