Archaeologists in Italy unearth ancient dolphin statuette

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Excavations in southern Italy have unearthed terracotta bull heads and a figurine of the Greek god Eros riding a dolphin.

The discoveries shine new light on the religious life and rituals of an ancient city, Italian culture ministry officials said.

Terracotta bull head
A terracotta bull head found at the site (Paestum Velia Archeological Park via AP)

Paestum, famed for its three massive Doric-columned temples, is near the archaeological site of Pompeii, but further down the Almalfi coast.

The dig site
The sanctuary was first identified in 2019 along the ancient city walls of Paestum, southern Italy (Paestum Velia Archeological Park via AP)

Excavations yielded several small terracotta figurines in the first months of resuming work, the
ministry added.

Archaeologists found seven bull heads found around a temple altar as if placed there on the ground in a gesture of devotion.

Italy Ancient Discovery
The excavations of the sanctuary in the ancient city of Paestum shine new light on the religious life and rituals of the ancient Greek city (Paestum Velia Archeological Park via AP)

Limited excavations began at the temples in the 1950s, and the ministry believes more treasures can be found in the area.

Ancient Romans controlled the city by around 275 BC, renaming it Paestum from the Greek “Poseidonia”, in what had before been Magna Graecia.

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