Dog Life and Death in an Ancestral Pueblo Landscape

Departmental News

Posted:  May 05, 2020 - 09:00am

Dr. Emily Jones and Victorial Monagle have co-authored a chapter in  Dogs: Archaeology Beyond Domestication, recently published by the University Press of Florida.  The chapter, "Dog Life and Death in an Ancestral Pueblo Landscape" examines how moving from a binary to a holistic approach re-shape our understanding of dogs in the prehispanic Southwest? In this chapter, the authors apply a landscape framework to their paleopathological and osteological analysis of canids recovered from 5MTUMR 2347, an Ancestral Pueblo site (Pueblo I/II, or A.D. 800 – 1000) located in Mancos Canyon, Colorado, to explore the roles that dogs filled during and after life in Ancestral Pueblo communities. While previous analyses suggested these dogs were used as a secondary food source and had ritual significance, the authors find that their different life histories (despite similar burial contexts) reflects the multiple roles played by dogs in the Ancestral Pueblo world. These findings highlight the ways in which the analysis of archaeological dog remains can be used to support indigenous communities in the present day.