Archaeologists have unearthed a 3rd century Roman 'hand of god' 

An ancient bronze artifact dubbed the “Hand of God” has been uncovered by archaeologists excavating a former Roman site called Vindolanda located in current-day northern England, reports the Independent

According to a news release by the charitable trust overseeing the site, “The hand is very well crafted, especially on the palm facing side, indicating that its purpose was to profile the object that it once held. The base of the hand is socketed and would have been originally fixed to a pole.” 

The lifelike hand had been found in a ditch near a temple dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus, a Roman god that was worshipped by a mysterious, weather-related cult that existed during the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. 

As such, archaeologists believe the hand “most likely served a cult function.” 

It may also have been a way for the Romans to celebrate their bloody but successful invasion of Scotland in the early 3rd century.

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Roman settlement of Vindolanda
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Roman settlement of Vindolanda
Roman settlement of Vindolanda, Northumberland, 1996. The well-made stone foundations of buildings in the civil settlement which grew up outside the Roman fort of Vindolanda (Chesterholme). (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Shot of Vindolanda, site of a Roman military settlement on Hadrian's wall. In the background the reconstructed fort can be seen, 3rd century. (Photo by CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images)
A man at Vindolanda Roman Fort and Museum. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)
Roman altar from Vindolanda. The dedication reads 'To Jupiter first and greatest and all the other gods and to the geniuses of the commanding officer's residence, Quintus Petronius Urbicus fulfilled his vow', 2nd century. (Photo by CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images)
Roman wood writing tablet from Vindolanda with a party invitation written in ink, from Claudia Severa to Lepidina, late 1st or early 2nd century. Sulpicia Lepidina was the wife of Flavius Cerealis, prefect of the Ninth Cohort of Batavians. This birthday invitation is one of two letters she received from Claudia Severa. The handwriting of Severa herself is one of the earliest known examples of writing in Latin by a woman. From the British Museum's collection. (Photo by CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images)
United Kingdom, England, Northumberland, Bardon Mill, Chesterholm, Hadrians Wall, Unesco World Heritage Site, Vindolanda Roman Fort And Museum, 3Rd Third Century. (Photo by: Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)
A fragment of Roman glass dating back to the third century, which is one of thousands of artefacts found on the Vindolanda settlement, by Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. (Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
A fragment of Roman glass dating back to the third century, which is one of thousands of artefacts found on the Vindolanda settlement, by Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. (Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
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