Statue of the God Mars

300AD - 350AD

This is a stunning life-size statue of the Roman god of war - Mars - wearing full amour and carrying a shield.  He has a sword on his hip and in his other hand he probably would have been carrying a metal spear.

The god of war was very popular with the army and it's no surprise that York with its legionary fortress and garrison of some 5000 soldiers should have had a temple dedicated to him. 

The whole statue, like all Roman stonework, would have been painted and could well have appeared quite life-like.  His feet are missing, it is likely they were left behind when he was pulled from his base.  This was done quite carefully as there is no other damage.  Perhaps his power still worried those who pulled down the temple.