March 15, 2021 at 5:40 am #40828
Caeso Cispius LaevusDenarii: 𐆖 873.40PlebeiusBritannia
I recently did some research on our canine friends. Here are my findings summarized:
It’s hard to say how many types of animals lived in the area of Pompeii before it was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, but a recent study has turned up new evidence that dogs were among them. Modern methods, such as CT scans and plaster casts, have allowed researchers to see things that were not discernible with previous methods. This includes evidence of dogs being killed as seen in plaster casts and buried outside one building. There is also evidence of them living in the city, where they were available to help with packs of hunting dogs. Images on walls and floors have been discovered that show dogs as well.
Three dog skeletons were discovered in a home that was excavated in 1980. One of them was found with a collar that had the name “Antonio” scratched into it. There is a well-known public mosaic called “The Dogs of Pompeii” that shows how dogs were valued by their owners. In it, one man plays the pipes for two dogs while another one shakes a container that might have contained food.
According to the Pompeii Dog Project, “Dogs had an intimate place in the lives of people in Pompeii. They were probably used for a variety of purposes ranging from helping hunters with packs of hounds to keeping homes and streets safe from intruders.”
The project’s goal is to create a guide to all dogs discovered at Pompeii, including where they were found, age, breed, sex and physical state. Modern methods have allowed researchers to see things previously not discernible about Pompeii.
Researchers reconstructed 34 dog skeletons from a Pompeii excavation site, which is located outside the ruins of Pompeii. The plaster casts were taken from areas where there was an increase in ash density and bone preservation. In order to understand the dogs, researchers examined the remains using CT scans. The scans revealed injuries that would have been left on the dog’s skeleton, some of which could have occurred before they died. Researchers also examined the skeletons and discovered that all of the dogs are medium-sized and small.
Researchers found evidence that at least four of the dogs were killed while trapped underneath a building, where they shared skeletons with pig remains.
Evidence suggests that there were dogs in all areas of Pompeii, but maybe not in large numbers. Some animals, such as goats, may have been kept for meat, while others like dogs perhaps helped with hunting activities or help carry packs.
It’s still unclear whether a dog would have lived inside the house or out on a porch or balcony, but it seems likely that some of them lived inside. There is evidence that some dogs may have been employed as guard dogs or sent to the door to warn when a visitor arrived. Some of these dogs may have become pets, but others would have been used as hunting and guarding animals, which are likely occupations if you want to ensure your safety in ancient Pompeii.
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