356 pages, 41 figs, 12 tabs
This book traces the evolution of the dog, from its origins about 15,000 years ago up to recent times. The timing of dog domestication receives attention, with comparisons between different genetics-based models and archaeological evidence, whilst allometric patterns between dogs and their ancestors, wolves, shed light on the nature of the morphological changes that dogs underwent.
Dog burials highlight a unifying theme of the whole book; the development of a distinctive social bond between dogs and people. The book also explores why the two groups relate so well to each other.
Like a hound on scent, Darcy Morey pursues the dog down the twisting paths of prehistory to its wolf origins and then tracks back through the dense tangle of contemporary genetic and neurological research to show how it came to capture our homes and hearts. [This book] is a work of love and of intellect that confirms Morey as our foremost dog archaeologist.
-Mark Derr, author, A Dog's History of America and Dog's Best Friend
1. Introduction; 2. Immediate ancestry; 3. Evidence of dog domestication and its timing: morphological and contextual indications; 4. Domestication: of dogs and other organisms; 5. The roles of dogs in past human societies; 6. Dogs of the arctic, the far north; 7. The burial of dogs, and what dog burials mean; 8. Why the social bond between dogs and people; 9. Other human-like capabilities of dogs; 10. Roles of dogs in recent times.
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Darcy Morey received his Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology in 1990 from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. Subsequently, he spent a year as a guest researcher at the University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum in Denmark. He was there for the express purpose of studying dog remains from archaeological sites in arctic Greenland.