Damn That Carbon Dating!

The famous Roman statue of the twins, Romulus and Remus, sucking from the she-wolf (Lupa Capitolina) has been carbon dated and guess what? It ain’t that old. Well, it is old, but just not as old as everyone was led to believe. It seems the experts just assumed that the bronze was made by the Etruscan’s in the 5th century BC. Gee, they even had proof,Cicero, a Roman statesman of that period described the statue as having a damaged paw after being struck by lightning. It would take until 2006 before someone called Cicero’s bluff. Anna Maria Carruba, an Italian art expert, was adamant that is was a ruse. She argued that the statue had been cast using a wax mould, something those Etruscan’s knew nothing about. To make matters worse she suggested that the paw was actually a casting mistake (ouch!).  Well, thanks to carbon dating they now believe Lupa Capitolina was manufactured in the 13th century, about 800 years ago, in the Romanesque Period. So what does this mean , will it retain its importance in Roman art? I am thinking not. Whew, lucky Dan Brown didn’t use Lupa Capitolina in the Da Vinci Code (that would have been embarrassing!).

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