In DepthArchaeology

Siberia yields earliest evidence for dog breeding

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Science  02 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6341, pp. 896
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6341.896

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Researchers have found the oldest evidence for dog breeding on a remote island in the East Siberian Sea. Nine thousand years ago, the hunter-gatherers of Zhokhov Island lived in animal-skin tents, hunted large numbers of polar bears with nothing more than a spear, and appear to have been the first people on Earth who bred dogs for a specific purpose—in this case to pull sleds, so that they could track reindeer across hundreds of miles of frozen plains. The work could rewrite the thinking about some of the earliest days of dog domestication, and it suggests that scientists interested in the beginnings of the human-canine relationship should be paying more attention to early Arctic peoples.