Nose to Tail: An Interdisciplinary Look at Dogs in the Past

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The relationship between humans and dogs has long been a focus ofarchaeological inquiry and continues to capture the interests ofresearchers from different disciplines and the general public. This sessiontakes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human-dogconnection in the past by presenting research from archaeology,ethnography, cognitive psychology, genetics and biology. Presentations willprovide insight on the complexity of the human-dog relationship byexploring the deep history of this connection. From understanding wolfcognition as a template to dog domestication, genetic variation, ancientdog health, dogs as technology, and the more sacred dog-human bond, a broadanalysis of dogs in the past will be presented

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-14 of 14)

  • Documents (14)

  • Beyond bones: Non-faunal evidence for the role of dogs in Anglo-Saxon society (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Pam Crabtree.

    Zooarchaeological data have provided much new information on Anglo-Saxon dogs including information on animal sizes, ages at death, paleopathology, and evidence for the treatment/mistreatment of dogs. However, many aspects of the relationship between humans and dogs in the Anglo-Saxon period cannot be understood on the basis of animal bones alone. This paper will explore the non-archaeozoological evidence for human-dog relationships in the Anglo-Saxon period drawing on evidence from literature...

  • Do dingoes hold the key to understanding human behavioural change in ancient Australia? (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Melanie Fillios.

    Archaeological evidence suggests dingos were brought to Australia sometime during the mid-Holocene (c. 5,000-3,500 years ago). Their introduction coincides with significant changes in human behaviour, specifically in technology, settlement patterns and diet. While their relationship with Aboriginal people is commonly held to have been commensal, this interesting amalgamation of changes certainly begs the question of whether there may be a dingo ‘signature’ in the archaeological record....

  • Dogs as Weapon Technology: Their Role in Prehistoric Hunting Groups (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Angela Perri.

    Dogs have played a variety of roles in ancient and modern groups, including hunting companions. This role is often suggested as an impetus for domestication or one of the dog’s earliest functions. Though advantageous in some cases, the hunting dog’s effectiveness (or inefficiency) is linked to external factors, such as environment, prey species, and hunting method. Under optimal conditions, dogs can act as the primary tool in capturing prey, often proving critical to hunting success. In other...

  • The earliest domesticated dogs in the Midcontinent: Chronology, Morphology, and Paleopathology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chris Widga. Dennis Lawler.

    The Midwest has the earliest and possibly richest record of dog burials in North America. New direct AMS 14C dates on Archaic-period canids from the region confirms this pattern (Koster Horizon XI, 10,130-9680 cal BP; Stilwell II, 10,200-9630 cal BP; Rodgers Shelter, 9000-8600 cal BP; Rodgers Shelter 8560-8210 cal BP). We use 2D and 3D geometric morphometrics to assess variability in the morphology of wild and domesticated Canidae from midwestern Archaic assemblages (10,000-6000 cal BP). Health...

  • Economic benefits of hunting dogs in the context of tropical horticulture (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Luis Pacheco-Cobos. Bruce Winterhalder.

    We provide evidence useful to ethnoarchaeological research on the behavioral coordination of hunting movements among humans and dogs. The domestication of dogs (~15000 y BP) is hypothesized to have benefited humans by increasing the food supply, saving human energy, and guarding camps or agricultural fields. Drawing on a year of fieldwork in Santa Cruz, Toledo District, Belize, we analyze the economics of hunting and the extent to which dogs could have helped humans to protect cultivated fields...

  • Genetics of Behavior in Fox Model of Animal Domestication (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Anna Kukekova. Jennifer Johnson. Anastasiya Kharlamova. Rimma Gulevich. Lyudmila Trut.

    Domestication as a special form of evolution offers valuable insight into how genomic variation contributes to complex differences in behavioral and morphological phenotypes. The silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) is taxonomically close to the dog but normally exhibit distinct patterns of aggressive and fear-aggressive behavior to humans. At the Institute of Cytology and Genetics (ICG) in Novosibirsk, Russia the process of animal domestication has been experimentally reconstructed and a strain of...

  • Insights into Dog Domestication from Psychological Studies on Dog and Wolf Behavior (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Clive Wynne.

    The nature of the cognitive similarities and differences between dogs and wolves is highly relevant to considerations of possible mechanisms for the origin of dogs. I shall present results which show that wolves possess the potential to match dogs’ levels of responding adaptively to human actions if the wolves have been carefully hand-reared by people skilled in raising wild animals. Hand-reared wolves match pet dogs’ ability to follow human points to a desired object and to interpret the...

  • Investigating Genetic Structure and Dietary Ecology through Ancient DNA and Stable Isotopic Analysis of Prehistoric Dogs from San Nicolas Island, California (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chelsea Smith.

    The study of prehistoric dogs has become a global trend. Not only did they fulfill a variety of roles and were an important part of past human societies, but they can be used to understand human-modified environments and human movement. On the California Channel Islands the domestic dog has been shown to be a significant component of the archaeological record. Dogs are uncovered in a variety of cultural contexts and their presence on the islands dates to the middle Holocene. Despite their...

  • Living with People can be Bad for your Health: Tooth Loss and Trauma in Northern Wolves and Dogs (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Robert Losey.

    Humans and dogs have long engaged in complex relationships, ranging from loving and intimate, to extremely violent and exploitive. Archaeology has tended to focus on the former, mostly ignoring the sometimes-ample evidence for trauma and tooth loss in remains of ancient dogs. Inferring the causes of such lesions on ancient dog remains has proven difficult, in part because of the lack of comparative data for canids living outside of the human niche. This paper compares patterns of cranial trauma...

  • Next-generation sequencing unravels the relationship of Paleoeskimo and Thule dogs from the North American Arctic (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Brown. Christyann Darwent. Ben Sacks.

    The peopling of the North American Arctic, occurred in two waves. First the Paleoeskimo people migrated from Siberia roughly 4,000 BP, followed by the Thule people ca. 1000 BP. The Thule people are known for their innovation and rapid colonization of the North American Arctic, compared to small population sizes of the Paleoeskimo. A distinguishing characteristic of Thule culture relative to previous Arctic cultures was increased use of dogs, particularly for dogsled traction. Use of dogs by the...

  • Palaeolithic dogs in Europe and Siberia (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mietje Germonpré. Sergey Fedorov. Mikhail V. Sablin. Martina Láznicková-Galetová. Robert J. Losey.

    Our group has demonstrated, on the basis of detailed morphometric analyses, the antiquity of the domestication of the wolf. The dog is the first domesticated animal and its origin can be traced to the Upper Palaeolithic. Two canid morphotypes can be distinguished in Pleistocene Eurasian sites dating from before and after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM): a morphotype that is similar to extant wolves, described by us as Pleistocene wolves, and a morphotype distinct from wolves; relative to wolves,...

  • Paleo-population genomics as a means to understand the history of dog domestication (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Greger Larson. Keith Dobney. Anna Linderholm. Allowen Evin. Thomas Cucchi.

    Dogs were unquestionably the first domestic animal and the only animal domesticated within a hunter-gatherer context prior to the advent of agriculture. Understanding the precise temporal and geographic origins of domestic dogs has proven difficult for several reasons including: the widespread distribution of wolves and the lack of a easily interpretable phylogeographic signatures amongst modern dog populations. More recently, studies making use of high-coverage genomes of dogs and wolves have...

  • The Paleolithic Domestic Dog Hypothesis (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Pat Shipman.

    Using morphological and statistical techniques, Germonpré and colleagues have identified over 40 Paleolithic dogs, ranging from ~36,000 to 13,900 cal yrs BP. These unusual canids have a different dietary signature from wolves at the same sites according to isotopic analyses. MtDNA analyses by Thalmann and others show that at least Paleolithic dog had a unique mtDNA sequence. I propose that these canids represent early domesticated dogs which significantly improved human hunting success....

  • Thinking through Dogs in the Arctic (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Erica Hill.

    Canids are among the most commonly encountered animals in archaeological assemblages worldwide. Using examples from the Arctic, I discuss some of the key ways that humans employ dogs to think about their relationships with other humans, animals, and the world around them. While dogs were often treated similar to human persons, they were also used to distance and distinguish "real people" from others. Ethnohistoric evidence suggests that a dynamic tension existed in the Arctic between humans and...