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.