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Stratum plus. 2001-2002. №1

M. V. Sablin, G. A. Khlopachev (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

The dogs from the Upper Paleolithic site Eliseevichi

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Pages: 393-397

Obviously, the dog was the first domestic animal associated with humans. Some scientists suggest that the first transformation from wolf to dog may have happened more than 100.000 years ago (Vila et al. 1997). Most of archaeologists and palaeontologists believe that humans first tamed wolves before the Ice Age finished. However, there were only indirect, not obvious evidences of domestication (Benecke 1987). Fragments of bones of Canis lupus L. identified as early Holocene domestic dog have been reported from the Near East  (Turnbull 1974; Davis 1978), central and northern Europe (Musil 1984; Nobis 1986; Street 1999), Siberia (Pawlow 1930). Complete crania of dogs  have never been found before in prehistoric archaeological sites dated older than 12.000  C14 BP. The finds we report here come from the Upper Paleolithic site Eliseevichi 1 (central Russian Plain, Bryansk Region) and previously dated to 13.000 – 17.000 C14 BP. The perfectly preserved cranium MAE 447/5298 is demonstrated in Figure 1. Unfortunately, the second cranium ZIN 23781/24 was partly destroyed. From inspection  of crania  it is evident that the Eliseevichi 1 canids were domestic animals.     

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