Dog 6: The Life and Death of A Good Boy in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

Author(s): Dessa E. Lightfoot

Year: 2019

Summary

This is an abstract from the "Burial, Space, and Memory of Unusual Death" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Colonial Williamsburg archaeologists encountered a series of dog burials during an excavation of the eighteenth-century Public Armoury site in Colonial Williamsburg. Among these already uncommon eighteenth-century burials, one dog in particular stood out: Dog 6, an elderly male with evidence of multiple healed injuries, unusual skeletal modifications, and significant arthritis. Placed with care into a custom-dug North/South aligned pit and buried with a carnivore-gnawed cattle bone and a large piece of coral, Dog 6 has presented a tantalizing glimpse into the life and death of an eighteenth-century working animal and the humans with which it interacted. This paper seeks to reconstruct the life history of Dog 6 through a detailed skeletal analysis, complicate assumptions about human/animal relationships in the eighteenth century, and to place this uncommon burial within the a larger knowledge of animal disposal and burial practices in Virginia in the period. 

Cite this Record

Dog 6: The Life and Death of A Good Boy in Eighteenth-Century Virginia. Dessa E. Lightfoot. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 448958)

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Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Eighteenth century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 488