Ancient Cave Art Depicts Oldest Evidence of Dogs Wearing Leashes

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Panel with spotlight colour added. (Image: Guagnin et al., 2017)

A brand new evaluation of historical rock artwork demonstrates that people hunted with canines on the Arabian Peninsula over eight,000 years in the past—and it seems like these canines wore leashes.

There are plenty of questions across the origin of canine domestication, akin to when, the place, and the way it occurred. But a newly badyzed set of panels depicts scenes of leashed canines searching alongside people. Not solely would this be the “earliest evidence of dogs on the Arabian Peninsula,” in line with the research printed not too long ago within the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, but it surely’s additionally the “earliest evidence of leashes.”

“The panels . . . indicate that dogs were a critical part of Pre-Neolithic hunting strategies in Arabia,” in line with the paper.

Archaeologists discovered the panels in two websites in northwestern Saudi Arabia, one referred to as Jubbah close to an oasis and one other referred to as Shuwaymis close to a wadi, a dry valley that floods and turns into extra lush throughout wetter intervals. These websites depict hundreds of animals carved into rock, together with 193 canines at Jubbah and 156 canines at Shuwaymis. Some, however not the entire canines have traces carved into the stone from their neck to their presumed homeowners. The scientists additionally notice that they’ve options much like the modern-day Canaan canine.

Panel (spotlight colour added) Image: Guagnin et al

Dating rock artwork requires inferences primarily based on the situation of the rocks and the location of the carvings on the rock which makes accuracy tough, in line with the research. One archaeologist, Paul Tacon from Griffith University in Australia, informed Science that the time estimate for this research, between 7,000 and 10,000 years in the past, is sound. However, he cautioned that the traces may be symbols moderately than bodily representations of leashes.

The research’s significance lies in the way it may make clear human conduct within the Arabian Peninsula within the pre-Neolithic period, by which canines would have performed an necessary position. It moreover “highlights the potential of rock art in providing evidence for the control and use of early domestic dogs.”

The scientists now have to do additional digging and see if they will truly discover canine stays courting again to the period.

[Journal of Anthropological Archaeology]
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