The remains of domestic dog, Canis familiaris, are found in archaeological sites around the world, providing an unexpected global link between archaeologists regardless of the cultures they study. Dogs were the first animal to establish a domestic relationship with humans and thus have the longest archaeological history of any domesticate. This collection of essays was compiled from papers presented at the 1st ICAZ Symposium on the History of the Domestic Dog, a special session held at the beginning of the Eighth International Congress of Archaeozoology (ICAZ98), in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
This volume addresses essentially all of the issues which are raised during the analysis of dog remains recovered from archaeological contexts, primarily through the presentation of specific examples drawn from various regions. Part One deals with dog evolution and evidence of early dogs. Part Two contains contributions by several archaeozoologists who attempt to determine the roles that dogs played in ancient human societies. In Part Three, a suite of papers discuss the influence that the Romans had on European dogs of their time. Part Four covers the issue of skeletal variation in dogs from other locations. Part Five provides a comprehensive report on the distinctive qualities and current status of the extant New Guinea singing dog, a rare primitive dog type whose relationship to modern dogs is still unclear. Part Six looks at various methods used in the analysis of archaeological remains. Finally, part Seven contains the concluding chapter, in which the editor attempts to synthesise various issues raised by authors.
Together, these chapters provide a "sampler" of research on the history of the domestic dog world-wide and suggest where further attention is needed.