FAMILY SHOCKED AS GARDEN PLANTER
TURNS OUT TO BE A ROMAN COFFIN
A married couple in England were shocked to learn that the garden trough they had been using as a flower planter for 30 years has been identified as rare 1,900-year-old Hadrian-era marble coffin worth over £100,000 ($150,000).
The unsuspecting couple from Northumberland inherited the 6 foot, 9 inch long sarcophagus from the previous owners of their house, who left it behind in 1982.
The retired pair only realised its worth when they learned of a similar ornament on sale at an auction house, according to a report in the DAILY MAIL.
Experts were invited to inspect it and discovered the one-tonne trough was a rare ornate Roman sarcophagus - a coffin carved from stone that usually sits above ground - dating back to the time of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd Century AD.
Auctioneers said the couple were "shocked" when they learned how valuable it is.
Made from Carrara marble, the sarcophagus would have been commissioned for the funeral of a wealthy woman and placed in a private mausoleum in Rome.
It is almost identical to another Roman sarcophagus that is in the Galleria Lapidaria in the Vatican.