This project seeks to contribute to the global effort to understand the domestication of wolves and the eventual emergence of these animals as dogs in societies. Unlike many such projects, however, our goals are not to understand where and when dogs originated, but rather we aim to understand ancient dogs’ life histories and interactions with people–how they were cared for (or not), how they were fed by people and they helped to feed us in return, how they interacted with humans during the course of everyday events, and how they were treated upon their deaths.
In other words, this project investigates the individual life histories of ancient dogs and human-dog relationships. Our geographical focus is Eastern Russia, including portions of both Western and Eastern Siberia, the Russia Far East, with comparative data drawn from the Eurasian North and Central Asia. We employ a suite of methodologies in this project, many borrowed in part from other studies of human skeletons. These methodologies, and the scholars responsible for employing them, are described in the TEAM and PROJECT pages.
Project field study sites: 1) Lower Ob, 2) Western Altai, 3) Cis-Baikal, 4) Eastern Trans-Baikal, 5) Southern Primorye, 6) Sakhalin, 7) Sakha Republic.