Arguing for an Archaeology of Dog Fighting

Author(s): Kevin Bradley

Year: 2014


Humans pitting dogs against each other as a source of entertainment has seemingly existed for thousands of years. The popularity of the ‘sport’ throughout history has attracted a wide array of enthusiasts. In the United States it inspired the development of new breeds and sophisticated fighting rings, the organization of which was equal to many legitimate professional sports, including the creation of official rules and popular magazines. The inhumanness of dog fighting also inspired government action against the activity, forcing it underground. Nevertheless, dog fighting continues as a clandestine activity in urban and rural settings today. Archaeology, however, has done little to enhance our understanding of this blood sport and the social relationships and ideologies that foster it. This paper argues that not only does dog fighting leave archaeological traces, but theoretically informed archaeologists may contribute to a broader understanding of how and why dog fighting persists in communities today.

Cite this Record

Arguing for an Archaeology of Dog Fighting. Kevin Bradley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436823)

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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-29,05