The headline of this linked article says that it’s a dog. I disagree. Take a look at the accompanying photo. Looks like a wolf, doesn’t it? At the very least it’s a dog that looks a lot like a wolf. Given the city, nee Empire, of Rome’s history with the wolf—the legendary founders of Rome were suckled as infants by a female wolf, so the story goes, and through the milk they gained some of the wolf’s attributes, its ferocity, perhaps its appetite, its fearlessness—I’m betting the statue is meant to depict a wolf.
Just before Christmas, workers on Rome’s water system discovered the wolf statue, along with some other artifacts, in a tomb that was “once part of a larger funerary complex built sometime between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE”. The statue, then, is almost exactly as old as Jesus, give or take a few years. Merry Christmas, history buffs!
“The dog statue, as well as an urn, were found about half a meter below street level… essentially right underneath current-day Romans’ feet. Fashioned out of terra cotta, the statue looks a lot like forms that once appeared as part of drainage systems on sloping rooftops [but this] statue was likely intended just as a cute canine decoration.” Cute? CUTE?! They describe the majestic and noble wolf as “cute”?!
Eh, maybe a little.