Exploring Human-Canid Interactions among the Dorset Using Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis
The scarcity of clearly identifiable dog bones and artifacts associated with dogsled traction has led many archaeologists to posit that the Dorset did not keep domestic dogs. While this statement has implications for the ability of the Dorset to cope with the variability of the arctic environment, it may also be an oversimplification of the problem. Canid remains do occur on Dorset sites, albeit in low numbers, but they are not identifiable to species based on skeletal morphology alone due to the similar size of large domestic canids and wolves. We apply stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis to the remains of large canids recovered from Groswater and Middle Dorset sites in Newfoundland, Canada, in order to determine the major sources of protein consumed by the canids. The stable isotope data indicate that, like the Dorset humans, the Dorset canids consumed a significant amount of marine-derived protein. The results are also consistent with stable isotope data from other domestic canids kept by archaeological, marine-adapted populations. This suggests the occasional, idiosyncratic possession of domestic canids by the Dorset in Newfoundland.
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
Cite this Record
Exploring Human-Canid Interactions among the Dorset Using Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analysis. Alison Harris, Vaughan Grimes. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397602)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;