In DepthArchaeology

Oldest images of dogs show hunting, leashes

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Science  17 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6365, pp. 854
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6365.854

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Researchers have discovered what may be the world’s earliest images of dogs in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The depictions, carved into rocks at two sites in the Arabian Desert, appear to date to at least 8000 years ago and feature medium-sized canines—with pricked up ears, short snouts, and curled tails—in hunting scenes. The pictures also feature what appear to be leashes leading from the necks of several dogs to the waists of human hunters. If the dating holds up, this would be the earliest evidence for dog leashes in the archaeological record by thousands of years. Scientists speculate that these early dogs may have helped humans survive in this harsh landscape.