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Earliest Domesticated Dog Uncovered
Discovery News ^ | 5-7-2003 | Jennifer Viegas

Posted on 05/08/2003 5:55:22 PM PDT by blam

Earliest Domesticated Dogs Uncovered

By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Skull of a Stone Age Dog

April 7, 2003 — The skulls of two Stone Age dogs believed to be the earliest known canines on record have been found, according to a team of Russian scientists.

The dog duo, which lived approximately 14,000 years ago, appear to represent the first step of domestication from their wild wolf ancestors.

Mikhail Sablin, a scientist at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, along with his colleague Gennady Khlopachev, analyzed the dog remains, which were found at the Eliseevichi I site in the Bryansk region of Russia's central plain, according to an Informnauka press agency release.

"We suggest that the dogs looked like present-day Tibetan mastiffs or Caucasian sheep dogs," Sablin told Discovery News. "The dogs had a much wider palate and shorter rostrum than Siberian huskies and Great Danes. The reconstructed withers height is about 70 cm (27.56 inches), therefore the dogs belonged to a very strange and dangerous heavy hunting/guarding breed."

Both Sablin and his colleague believe humans domesticated the dogs from local northern wolves at the site. While large and strong, the Stone Age canines exhibited relatively short snouts, which distinguished them from their wild wolf ancestors.

The dogs perished as adults. But at the time of their deaths they were probably remembered more as man's best dinner rather than man's best friend. One of the skulls had a hole where a human likely removed the brain for consumption, as was the common practice in later known periods.

Their skulls were found next to the bones of a mammoth, an Arctic fox and a reindeer. It is probable that those animals also wound up as meat for Stone Age humans.

During their lifetimes, the canines likely were hunting and guard dogs, according to the researchers.

Sablin explained that certain humans already had begun to partially control labor, trade and ritualistic social activities. The unequal distribution of resources led to a social hierarchy, with people of prestige and power getting Stone Age status symbols, like dogs.

He said, "In this context it can be assumed that the large wolf-like dogs were used to guard not only against predators, (but also) their presence (at a particular site) may have indicated the high social status of the inhabitants."

Susan Crockford, an archaeozoologist at Pacific Identifications, Inc., a firm that specializes in identification of birds and animals from archaeological remains, agreed that the Russian dogs "are certainly the oldest complete skulls from this early period," and said, "…the evidence is good that these are truly domestic dogs."

She added that other, slightly later, dog remains have been found in Israel, Germany and the Czech Republic but, "I think (the Eliseevichi dogs) remind us that there must be many more than one center of domestication, and not just the Middle East as was once thought."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; archaeology; cryptobiology; cryptozoology; dogs; domesticated; earliest; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history

1 posted on 05/08/2003 5:55:23 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Dogs are so great!

Will Rogers once said that if dogs can't go to heaven, he wanted to go wherever they do go.

2 posted on 05/08/2003 5:58:36 PM PDT by Scenic Sounds
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To: blam
so they were the earliest known democrats?
3 posted on 05/08/2003 6:00:54 PM PDT by yonif
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To: All

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4 posted on 05/08/2003 6:01:28 PM PDT by Bob J (Freerepublic.net...where it's always a happening....)
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To: blam
Fido the Great and Rex I
5 posted on 05/08/2003 6:01:38 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: blam

Artist's conception of the earliest dog

6 posted on 05/08/2003 6:02:36 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
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To: yonif
so they were the earliest known democrats?

Please don't insult dogs.

7 posted on 05/08/2003 6:03:11 PM PDT by Snowy (My golden retriever can lick your honor student)
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To: blam
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
- Mark Twain, a Biography

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
8 posted on 05/08/2003 6:07:08 PM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (The difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin!)
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To: DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet
A dog-lover ping!
9 posted on 05/08/2003 6:09:12 PM PDT by Scenic Sounds
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To: blam
What did puppies do with their time before we wore shoes?
10 posted on 05/08/2003 6:19:06 PM PDT by ChemistCat (My new bumper sticker: MY OTHER DRIVER IS A ROCKET SCIENTIST)
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To: blam
These dogs?


11 posted on 05/08/2003 6:27:38 PM PDT by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: blam
Sablin explained that certain humans already had begun to partially control labor, trade and ritualistic social activities. The unequal distribution of resources led to a social hierarchy, with people of prestige and power getting Stone Age status symbols, like dogs. He said, "In this context it can be assumed that the large wolf-like dogs were used to guard not only against predators, (but also) their presence (at a particular site) may have indicated the high social status of the inhabitants."

Am I the only one to think that maybe their higher status came from having the dogs? That they were used to help them hunt and protect their stuff rather then the dogs being a Stone Age Gucci bag.

Even just as an early warning system dogs would be very useful. (Not to mention, meals on legs)

12 posted on 05/08/2003 6:27:42 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Somebody should have labeled the future "Some assembly required.")
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To: ChemistCat
What did puppies do with their time before we wore shoes?

They waited until early man was asleep, and gnawed his toes. :)

13 posted on 05/08/2003 6:29:13 PM PDT by LibKill (MOAB, the greatest advance in Foreign Relations since the cat-o'-nine-tails!)
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To: blam
The Russian scientists also reported they were pretty sure the two dogs were named Fidovitch and Roverensky

Fyodor Babushka

14 posted on 05/08/2003 6:29:18 PM PDT by Hank Kerchief
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To: sarcasm
Are those 'Carolina Dogs'?
15 posted on 05/08/2003 6:30:02 PM PDT by LibKill (MOAB, the greatest advance in Foreign Relations since the cat-o'-nine-tails!)
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To: blam
the dog missing link!
16 posted on 05/08/2003 6:32:46 PM PDT by ellery
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To: LibKill
You'll have to ask blam - they're his dogs.
17 posted on 05/08/2003 6:33:09 PM PDT by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: blam
evolution of the doggy


18 posted on 05/08/2003 6:33:13 PM PDT by InvisibleChurch
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To: blam
Curious...there is not one shred of evidence presented that these "dogs" were domesticated or descended from wolves. Story telling and conjecture do not qualify as evidence. "14,000" ya (years old) - more conjecture. "Food for early man" - conjecture.

YEC skepticism.

19 posted on 05/08/2003 6:33:44 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: blam
"The dog duo, which lived approximately 14,000 years ago, "

That's 98000 dog years ago.

20 posted on 05/08/2003 6:37:40 PM PDT by Puddleglum
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To: blam
The unequal distribution of resources led to a social hierarchy,

Looks like these guys got the cart before the dog, must be democrat researchers.

21 posted on 05/08/2003 6:51:05 PM PDT by Old Professer
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To: yonif
so they were the earliest known democrats?

Just the one with the hole in his head.

22 posted on 05/08/2003 6:51:49 PM PDT by Erasmus
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To: sarcasm
"These dogs? "

Yup. Those are my babies.

23 posted on 05/08/2003 6:52:34 PM PDT by blam
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To: LibKill
"Are those 'Carolina Dogs'?"

No. Those are me and my Alabama dogs that sarcasm posted.

24 posted on 05/08/2003 6:55:12 PM PDT by blam
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Scenic Sounds
Will Rogers once said that if dogs can't go to heaven, he wanted to go wherever they do go.

Dear Lord. Help to strive everyday to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.

26 posted on 05/08/2003 6:57:37 PM PDT by uglybiker (Fishing: The only sport one can engage in while sitting down and drinking beer....I like to fish.)
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To: ChemistCat
What did puppies do with their time before we wore shoes?



If it were not for nylabone reagan would chew my feet off, shoes or no shoes
27 posted on 05/08/2003 7:00:54 PM PDT by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: LibKill
"Are those 'Carolina Dogs'?"

Dixie Dingo (Carolina Dogs.)

28 posted on 05/08/2003 7:01:05 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Wild 'Carolina Dogs'

29 posted on 05/08/2003 7:03:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: yonif
so they were the earliest known democrats?

Not likely. They story says someone ate the brains, that excludes Democrats.

30 posted on 05/08/2003 7:21:01 PM PDT by Blue Screen of Death
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To: Scenic Sounds
Thank you! : )
31 posted on 05/08/2003 7:59:02 PM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet (I'm happy, yet I'm aware of the ironic ramifications of my happiness.)
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Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

32 posted on 05/02/2005 8:58:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FR profiled updated Monday, April 11, 2005. Fewer graphics, faster loading.)
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