16 Feb 2013

Roman coffin 'flowerpot' fetches £40,000

8:44 am on 16 February 2013

A Roman sarcophagus that was being used as a garden flowerpot in the north of England has been sold at auction for £40,000.

A pensioner who owned it for decades was unaware of its origins and decided to call in experts after reading about the discovery of a similar sarcophagus in a garden last year.

It is believed the intricately carved marble coffin was made for a wealthy Roman aristocrat in the first century AD, the BBC reports.

It was brought to England by a shipping family who acquired it in Italy more than 100 years ago.