Roman-era trash dump containing naked Venus statue and other artifacts unearthed in France

March 27, 2023

Archaeologists in France have discovered a trove of up to 1,800-year-old artifacts — including statuettes of the goddess Venus, a potter's kiln, coins and clothing pins — in a rare location: a Roman shale quarry that was later repurposed into a trash pit in what is now the city of Rennes.

Located in northwest France, Rennes was founded in the first century A.D. as the Roman town Condate Riedonum(opens in new tab). In order to create houses, walls and public buildings, a significant amount of stone was needed. Earlier this month, while excavating ahead of a development project, archaeologists with the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) announced their discovery(opens in new tab) of a quarry that was likely instrumental in the foundation of Roman Rennes.