A planned waterway replacement project on Rome’s Via Luigi Tosti in the Appio Latino district has revealed a terracotta statue of a dog that is likely to date from the first century BC to the first century AD.
The site was being inspected by archaeologists from Italian Ministry of Culture before work began on the project. The find was unearthed approximately 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) below street level, along with funerary artifacts.
The statue is palm-size and depicts a dog with pointed ears and long, wavy fur on its head and neck. There also appears to be a collar with a small emblem hanging over its chest. The dog also has a circular object between its paws – and a rather unhappy expression on its face, so is perhaps mourning its owner.
Roma Today reported the find on 1 January and in an Instagram post representatives of the Special Superintendency of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Rome said:
“Once again, Rome shows important traces of the past in all its urban fabric.”
The team also identified three mausoleums – part of a larger burial complex on the 2000-year-old Via Latina.
You can read more about the find at LiveScience.com.