London, July 11 : A statue symbolizing the mythical origins and power of Rome, long thought to have been made around 500 BC, has been found to date from the 1200s.
The statue, which is among the most important works on display at the Capitoline museums in Rome, depicts a she-wolf suckling Remus and his twin brother Romulus - who is said to have founded Rome.
According to a report by BBC News, the statue of the wolf was carbon-dated last year, but the test results have only now been made public.
The figures of Romulus and Remus have already been shown to be 15th Century additions to the statue.
Rome's former top heritage official, Professor Adriano La Regina, said that about 20 tests were carried out on the she-wolf at the University of Salerno.
Regina said that the results of the tests gave a very precise indication that the statue was manufactured in the 13th Century.
Until recently, it was widely acknowledged that the statue was an Etruscan work dating from the 5th Century BC.
The Roman statesman, Cicero, who lived in the 1st Century BC, describes a statue of a she-wolf that was damaged by a lightning strike.
Coincidentally, the Lupa Capitolina has a damaged paw.
However, in 2006, an Italian art historian and restorer, Anna Maria Carruba, argued that the statue had been cast in a single piece using a wax mould - a technique that was unknown in the ancient world.
Carruba suggested that the damage to the Lupa Capitolina's paw was the result of a mistake in the moulding process.