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The Many Roles of Roman Dogs

Author(s): Victoria Moses

Year: 2017

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The Romans had a strong interest in the natural world. Their relationships with animals extended from animals as food source to animals as exotic curiosities and everything in between. Dogs held a complicated position for the Romans, filling a wide range of roles. For example, dogs could be companions, war weapons, street cleaners, or victims of sacrifice. This variety shows how dogs were conceptualized sometimes as individuals and pets, sometimes as pests, and other times as powerful and almost magical beasts. This paper explores many of the roles of dogs in the Roman world using zooarchaeological and textual evidence. The main focus is the use of puppies and dogs in medicinal and religious rituals.

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The Many Roles of Roman Dogs. Victoria Moses. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431009)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16257

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America