Palaeolithic dogs in Europe and Siberia


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, the latter morphotype is characterised by short skulls and snouts, and wide palates, and short mandibles and lower carnassials. The upper and lower carnassials of this morphotype are larger than those of modern dogs. To differentiate this morphotype from modern dogs, they are termed Palaeolithic dogs. So far, sites with Palaeolithic dogs dating from before the LGM are limited. Sites yielding material from Palaeolithic dogs dating from after the LGM are more numerous and wide spread, as far as northern Siberia and the Far East. Here we present the fossil canids from these Pleistocene Eurasian sites, including a canid pup found in the permafrost of northern Yakutia.

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Cite this Record

Palaeolithic dogs in Europe and Siberia. Mietje Germonpré, Sergey Fedorov, Mikhail V. Sablin, Martina Láznicková-Galetová, Robert J. Losey. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395590)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;