“Contributes to our understanding of the complex, nuanced, nearly ubiquitous, and lengthy relationship between humans and domesticated dogs. Through the use of cutting-edge technologies and the incorporation of traditional indigenous knowledge and belief systems, this group of scholars pushes the boundaries of what we can and should be doing with archaeological dog remains.”—Tanya M. Peres, coeditor of The Cumberland River Archaic of Middle Tennessee
“Dogs offers an in-depth and multifaceted focus on the relationship between humans and our best friends. The work of contributors includes archaeology from different time periods and throughout the world. Finally, dogs have a compilation of research worthy of their dynamic histories.”—Christopher P. Barton, coauthor of Historical Racialized Toys in the United States
While previous studies of dogs in human history have focused on how people have changed the species through domestication, this volume offers a rich archaeological portrait of the human-canine connection. Contributors investigate the ways people have viewed and valued dogs in different cultures around the world and across the ages.
Case studies from North and South America, the Arctic, Australia, and Eurasia present evidence for dogs in roles including pets, guards, hunters, and herders. In these chapters, faunal analysis of gnawed and digested bones from the Ancient Near East suggests that dogs contributed to public health by scavenging garbage, and remains from a Roman temple indicate that dogs were offered as sacrifices in purification rites. Essays also chronicle the complex partnership between Aboriginal peoples and the dingo and describe how the hunting abilities of dogs made them valuable assets for tribes in the Amazon rainforest. The volume draws on multidisciplinary methods that include zooarchaeological analysis; scientific techniques such as isotopic, DNA, and chemical residue analyses; and the integration of history, ethnography, multispecies scholarship, and traditional cultural knowledge to provide an in-depth account of dogs’ lives.
Showing that dogs have been a critical ally for humankind through cooperation and companionship over thousands of years, this volume broadens discussions about how relationships between people and animals have shaped worldviews and civilizations.
Brandi Bethke is laboratory director and research faculty at the Oklahoma Archeological Survey at the University of Oklahoma. Amanda Burtt is associate curator for the Angel Mounds rehousing project with the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University, Bloomington.
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