Found the earliest evidence of the domestication of dogs by the ancient inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. In one of the recently discovered tomb, archaeologists have found the bones of a dog that got there in about 4200-4000 BC. The Journal of Field Archeology writes about this.
The find was made as part of one of the large-scale archaeological research and excavation projects in the region, commissioned by the Royal Commission. Researchers found a dog’s bones in a burial that is one of the earliest monumental tombs discovered in the Arabian Peninsula. Evidence shows that the tomb was in use around 4300 BC. That burials took place in it for at least 600 years during the Neolithic-Chalcolithic era – a sign that the inhabitants may have shared a common memory of people, places, and Connections between them.
“People may have known for hundreds of years where their relatives were buried — unheard of for that period,” said Melissa Kennedy, Assistant Director of the Aerial Archeology Project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This is the earliest evidence for a domestic dog in the Arabian Peninsula, with previous evidence dating back about 1,000 years later.
The research team discovered the tomb using satellite imagery and then aerial photography from a helicopter. In the volcanic highlands, 26 fragments of the bones of one dog were found and the bones of 11 people – six adults, a teenager, and four children. The dog’s bones showed signs of arthritis, suggesting that the animal lived to middle or old age with humans.
Zoo archaeologist Laura Strolin proved that it is indeed a dog by analyzing, in particular, one bone of the animal’s left front leg. The width of this bone was 21.0 mm, which is in line with the range of other ancient Middle Eastern dogs. For comparison, in wolves of that time and the same place, the width of the same bone ranged from 24.7 to 26 mm.
Rock carvings in this region indicate that the Neolithic people used dogs for hunting mountain goats and other animals.