Zedda, Marco and Manca, Paolo and Chisu, Valentina and Gadau, Sergio Domenico and Lepore, Gianluca and Genovese, Angelo and Farina, Vittorio (2006) Ancient pompeian dogs: morphological and morphometric evidence for different canine populations. Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, Vol. 35 (5), p. 319-324. eISSN 1439-0264. Article.
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This article examines the morphological features of the dog during the Roman Age on the basis of osseous and dental remains dug up in Pompeii. The material, consisting of 113 canine bones and teeth, was subjected to both morphological and morphometrical analyses and was compared with modern canine breeds. In most cases, the age at death, shoulder height and other phenotypic features were ascertained. The examined Pompeian canine population fell mainly into two categories: small- and large-sized animals. Among the former, one brachycephalic and two dolichocephalic subjects were included. Such morphological features agree with what is described in numerous texts and appears in mosaics, bas-reliefs and frescoes of the Roman Age. As small-sized dogs cannot be classified as Canes Venatici (sporting dogs), Canes Villatici (watch dogs) and Canes Pastorales (shepherd dogs) according to Columella's De re rustica, these animals may be considered as lapdogs.
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