Application of the Canine Surrogacy Approach to Holocene and Iron Age Sites in Siberia

Author(s): Lacey Fleming; Robert Losey

Year: 2017


Humans and dogs have been living together for thousands of years, participating in various forms of relationships. One of these relationships involves the partial or complete provisioning of dogs by humans. Because of these practices, it has been argued that a dog’s diet should generally resemble that of the humans with whom it lived. This proposed interspecies dietary similarity has been an important aspect of some archaeological studies in that dog stable isotope values are in many cases used as direct proxies for human values. This perspective is known as the Canine Surrogacy Approach (CSA). In this paper, we explore the applicability of the CSA using dietary stable isotope data from Holocene coastal sites in Primorye, and from a large assemblage from the Iron Age Ust’-Polui site in the Siberian Arctic, both in the Russian Federation. The Primorye dogs were living in hunter-gatherer societies and feudal kingdoms, and likely were both working animals and human food resources. At Ust’-Polui, foragers’ dogs were sometimes butchered, but also occasionally sacrificed and carefully buried. We compare dog dietary stable isotope data to that of local humans at both locations to assess use of the CSA and to better understand dog provisioning strategies.

Cite this Record

Application of the Canine Surrogacy Approach to Holocene and Iron Age Sites in Siberia. Lacey Fleming, Robert Losey. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429565)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14427