When, in 1274, an ancient sarcophagus containing a skeleton was unearthed in this area, the Paduan poet Lovato de’Lovati immediately claimed it was that of the Trojan hero. The venerable relic was then housed in a specially-built tabernacle, which meant it was protected from the elements while on public display.
Eager to earn his own place in the history of Padua, Lovato had a similar sarcophagus made for himself and then placed alongside that of Padua’s founding father. Little did he know that, due to the bas-relief of a dog on one side of his sarcophagus, it would become commonly referred to as “the tomb of Antenor’s dog”.
Subsequent studies of the remains in the original sarcophagus have shown that they are actually those of a Hungarian-born warrior who died some time between the 3rd and 4th century A.D. Nevertheless, though there is absolutely no proof that Antenor ever existed, archaeological finds in this area do confirm that the Veneti arrived here some time between the 13th and 11th century B.C.