Dogs lived and died with humans 10,000 years ago in the Americas | Science News

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Dogs lived and died with humans 10,000 years ago in the Americas

Buried remains of the oldest known New World canines came from two sites in Illinois

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3:30pm, April 16, 2018
ancient dogs

ANCIENT PAWS  New radiocarbon evidence has identified three dogs excavated in Illinois, including this pooch, as the oldest canines in the Americas. These human companions lived around 10,000 years ago, about 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

WASHINGTON — A trio of dogs buried at two ancient human sites in Illinois lived around 10,000 years ago, making them the oldest known domesticated canines in the Americas.

Radiocarbon dating of the dogs’ bones shows they were 1,500 years older than thought, zooarchaeologist Angela Perri said April 13 at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The previous age estimate was based on a radiocarbon analysis of burned wood found in one of the animals’ graves. Until now, nearly 9,300-year-old remains of dogs eaten by humans at a Texas site were the oldest physical evidence of American canines.

Ancient dogs at the Midwestern locations also represent the oldest known burials of individual dogs in the world, said Perri, of Durham University in England. A dog buried at Germany’s Bonn-Oberkassel site

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