Zooarchaeological Analysis of Dog Pathology in the American Southwest: A Case for Interpreting Dogs as Companions as Opposed to Beasts of Burden
This presentation provides an update on prehistoric Southwest dog pathologies from the Museum of Northern Arizona’s curated faunal collections. Our zooarchaeological analysis of healed cranial lesions and tooth wear has not only expanded on earlier research accomplished in previous years but it has redefined the prehistoric dog’s role in the agricultural Southwest. Typically, domesticated dogs are identified as beasts of burden, which has inhibited sufficient and further analysis of the relationship between humans and dogs. Our research identifies that a lack of postcranial healed fractures and tooth wear evidence for dogs consuming human-like diets indicates that these animals may have been close companions of humans. In addition, the pathologies present on these canids convey a more dynamic and complex relationship between humans and dogs in the Southwest, one that had not previously been addressed by archaeologists. By combining zooarchaeological analysis with a chronology based on associated ceramics, we are able to describe the life of dogs in the Southwest in a more holistic manner. This information allows us to expand our understanding of how dogs were treated in Northern Arizona and creates a better potential to connect archaeological research with the interests of the public.
Cite this Record
Zooarchaeological Analysis of Dog Pathology in the American Southwest: A Case for Interpreting Dogs as Companions as Opposed to Beasts of Burden. Joshua Nowakowski, Chrissina C. Burke, Caitlin M. H. Bishop. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428901)
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min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16146