Nobody really knows who or what it represents. Maybe an ancient pagan god. But perhaps also not. Nobody really knows what its function originally was. Perhaps an elaborate manhole cover.
There is only one thing about this wonderful, and truly very ancient sculpture which is absolutely certain: if you say a lie with your hand in Her (His? Its?) mouth, it will be bitten right off. Some may remember it featured in the 1953 classic movie Roman Holiday, when Gregory Peck mimics a stump and sets a lovely Audrey Hepburn sreaming.
Nearly sixty years after the movie’s release, the screaming still goes on. Mostly with an Asian accent.
The Bocca della Verita’ in housed under the portico in a church facing a Roman piazza bearing the same name. To have your picture taken, expect to stand in a long, long line.