Ancient Peru pet cemeteries

From an article today,

Archaeologists have uncovered over 82 dog tombs buried alongside humans in Peru. Their owners were the Chiribaya, who lived in the Osmore River valley. They were farmers who lived approximately from “AD 900 to 1350 before the rise of Peru’s Inca Empire”.

From a sociological standpoint, it is interesting to note that the dogs, adults and puppies, were buried with blankets food – “They are dogs that were thanked and recognized for their social and familial contribution,” anthropologist Sonia Guillen said. “These dogs were not sacrificed.” Were they kept as pets in the modern sense of the word? Or were they valued for their assistance as herders, hunters, etc?

In addition to the significance of the importance of dogs to these people, the Bioanthropology Foundation of Peru is also interested in searching for genetic links from these dogs to modern day Chiribaya shepherd dogs.

It’s interesting to consider the genetics and genealogy of modern domestic dog breeds. Often there is mention of extinct breeds or earlier canine ancestors referred to in royal records of those elite who had dogs. Of course that doesnt account for the rest of the population’s mutts!!

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