Dogs as Weapon Technology: Their Role in Prehistoric Hunting Groups

Author(s): Angela Perri

Year: 2015


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 cases they are a detriment, jeopardizing hunting returns. A survey of ethnographic hunting literature characterizes the relationship between hunting dog effectiveness and environmental factors. This analysis illustrates the vital role hunting dogs may have played as weapon technology in past hunter-gatherer groups.

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Dogs as Weapon Technology: Their Role in Prehistoric Hunting Groups. Angela Perri. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395594)