News

Dr. Robert Losey in the news!

March 1, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Losey, whose research about the ancient bond between dogs and humans has been all over the news!

Link to article entitled "Reading an ancient bond in the look of puppy love" on the University of Alberta website, written by Geoff McMaster: https://uofa.ualberta.ca/news-and-events/newsarticles/2016/march/reading-an-ancient-bond-in-the-look-of-puppy-love

An excerpt: One of Losey's projects involves the excavation of dog remains between 5,000 and 8,000 years old at Lake Baikal, Siberia, the deepest freshwater lake in the world. What's striking about the find is it reveals dogs were buried alongside humans in cemeteries, pointing not only to some of the earliest evidence of dog domestication but also suggesting dogs were held in the same high esteem as humans.

"The dogs were being treated just like people when they died," says Losey. "They were being carefully placed in a grave, some of them wearing decorative collars, or next to other items like spoons, with the idea being potentially that they had souls and an afterlife." In one instance a man was found buried in the same grave as his two dogs, one on either side.

"Globally you can see that there are more dog burials in prehistory than any other animals, including cats or horses. Dogs seem to have a very special place in human communities in the past. As soon as we see skeletal remains that look like the modern dog-say 14,000 years ago-we see dogs being buried."

Through chemical analysis of dog bones done at the U of A, Losey was also able to determine that the Lake Baikal dogs were fed the same diet as humans.

"Early on there's evidence to suggest people loved and cared for their dogs in much the same way we do now, but they were also working companions, involved in all of our daily tasks," he says. "Thousands of years ago there were even lapdogs-the Romans had them. Clearly, people long ago began breeding dogs for specific purposes."

Photograph from article.

News Archive


2017

2016

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

September

October

November

December

2015

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2014

January

February

March

April

May

July

August

September

October

November

December

2013

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

October

November

December

2012

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

October

November

December

2011

Bakail Hokkaido archaeology project