Farmer turns up Roman trophy

A farmer plowing his fields near the central Greek town of Orchomenos has stumbled across the marble trophy set up by a victorious Roman general following the defeat of a rebel army over 2,000 years ago, the Ministry of Culture announced yesterday. A careful excavation turned up a large number of pieces from the monument set up on the 86 BC battlefield by Lucius Cornelius Sulla to celebrate his second victory in quick succession over Archelaos, a general of King Mithridates of Asia Minor. The fragments are in good condition, and experts believe the entire trophy - which originally stood up to 4 meters high - can be restored in situ. The monument is a rendition in stone of the rough trophy set up by victorious ancient generals on the field of battle - which consisted of tree trunks festooned with the armor of their vanquished foes. This stood on a stone base decorated with relief sculpture. An inscription on the base includes the names of Sulla and Mithridates. The find site is between Orchomenos and Pirgos.