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Hard Fare: Investigating Dog Teeth to Interpret the Value of a Dog among Northwestern Plains and Rocky Mountains

Author(s): Amanda Burtt

Year: 2017

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Summary

In this paper, Dental Microwear Texture Analysis is used to evaluate the teeth of dogs recovered from Late Prehistoric sites to investigate the idea that these animals had their natural diets modified by their human counterparts. This study compares microwear from wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) to that of archaeological dogs recovered from various sites that represent human mobile groups of the Northwestern Plains and Rocky Mountains. Varied practices have been described in the ethnohistoric record, including Native groups intentionally provisioning their dogs as well as letting them subsist solely by scavenging. Understanding feeding programs as a proxy for the value of the dog among indigenous groups will contribute to continuing investigations on how dependent humans and dogs were on each other and the significance of dogs in general. Typical ecological models measure value as a compromise between what is given and what is received. This approach to understanding human behavior can be applied to the use of dogs and may inform fundamental anthropological questions about people and their environmental interactions in the past.


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Hard Fare: Investigating Dog Teeth to Interpret the Value of a Dog among Northwestern Plains and Rocky Mountains. Amanda Burtt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431012)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15154

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