THE ACROPOLIS HUNTING DOG
This life-size marble sculpture of a dog was unearthed, almost intact, south of the Parthenon, in the ancient layer of damaged architectural and votive sculptures left behind by the invading Persian army during the Greco-Persian Wars. The hound is represented at a moment of extreme stress, ready to strike, as it seems he has caught the scent of his prey.
The presence of such a sculpture in the Sanctuary of Athena seems odd, given that real dogs were not permitted there. Rather it is more likely, that the statue had guarded the goddess of the hunt, Artemis in her nearby Sanctuary.
The ancient Greeks, since Homer’s time, valued hunting dogs. Laconian and Cretan hounds in particular, were prized for their strength, intelligence and speed.
Around 520 BC, Acropolis Museum (Acr. 143)