The Age of Dogs

Its seems the date of dog domestication keeps being pushed further back in time.  Recent finds in the Altai mountains of Siberia indicate domestication by 33,000 B.P., near the peak of the last ice-age.  The specimen shows paedomophism in the snout, but with large, wolf-like teeth.  Dogs are so important to recent bio-cultural evolution that they are something we shouldn’t leave out of any look at hunter-gatherers.

photo credit: BBC News

There are no dogs reported from the Paleoindian excavations at Blackwater Draw but I suspect we will someday have some evidence of their interaction with the First Americans in the area.  Our excavation bias at the Landmark is that we have primarily a series of kill-sites but little domestic evidence.  I am often asked by the public “why are there no humans buried here?”  What we find are piles of bison, mammoth, pronghorn, etc. but the hunters were not dying here.  If they were, I suspect even then they would be taken away for some sort of mortuary practice.  The dogs, just like their more recent descendants, likely went off to die alone or possibly were eaten and ended up in the trash midden.

Click the photo for the BBC article or copy the link:


About George Crawford

archaeologist, archer, primitive technologist, and wannabee musician ... mostly
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