Here's a neat story at CNN.com:
A Roman statue of Atlas -- the mythical titan who carried the heavens on his shoulders -- holds clues to the long-lost work of the ancient astronomer Hipparchus, an astronomical historian said Tuesday.I like stuff like that. Like echoes and adumbrations of unrecoverable things by which we can still know some part. Paintings only known through copies. Different colors of bricks in the walls of an old house, suggesting some now-lost window on a completely different view. It's some sort of fossil-love, baby, and it's all around us: in our etymology, in our genes, and in our faces.
The statue in question is known as the Farnese Atlas, a 7-foot tall marble work which resides in the Farnese Collection in the National Archeological Museum in Naples, Italy.
What makes it important to scientists is not the titan's muscular form but the globe he supports: carved constellations adorn its surface in exactly the locations Hipparchus would have seen in his day, suggesting that the sculptor based the globe on the ancient astronomer's star catalog, which no modern eyes have seen.