The Archaeology of Man’s Best Friend:
Recent Studies of Prehistoric Dogs in Illinois
Coming In May, Guest Speaker Steven R. Kuehn
Human company of Fido frequently has been a prescribed treatment for psychologically disturbed individuals and many hospitals allow patients pet visits. Canines were among the first domestication successes. But what is the archaeological New World account?
That question will be broached when Dr. Steven R. Kuehn shares with us the story of “man’s best friend” in ancient Illinois. Dr. Kuehn will be the guest speaker of the Chicago Archaeological Society at the Evanston Library, May 22, 3:00 pm.
Primates have done rather well since their adoption by canines which has been somewhat checkered by a human inclination to consort with other species even elipines, piscine and argh!— felines. Admittedly wearisome global areas exist e.g. the Middle East which to the pre-sent day roils in canine disfavor—pity the porcines—lowest on the social scale.
The first domesticated dogs appeared some 30,000 years ago, and in North America domesticated dog remains are found at Paleoindian through Historic Period archaeological sites. The role and treatment of dogs among Native American groups, however, has var-ied considerably over time. Throughout prehistory, dogs were used for hunting, hauling, and guarding camps, and played a part in feasts and ritual events.
Recent archaeological investigations at the Janey B. Goode, East St. Louis, and Fish Lake sites in the American Bottom region of Illinois have result-ed in the recovery of thousands of animal remains, including nearly 150 dog burials. Ongoing study of these animals provides important insight on the changing role of domesticated dogs during the Late Prehistoric period in Illinois.
Following a brief overview of dog archaeology in Illinois, Zooarchaeologist Steven Kuehn will discuss his recent work with the Janey B. Goode, East St. Louis, and Fish Lake dogs and how this information is providing a much more detailed picture on the prehistory of “man’s best friend.”
Mr. Steven R. Kuehn
The Archaeology of Man’s Best Friend: Recent Studies of Prehistoric Dogs in Illinois
May 22, 2016
Meetings are at 3:00 p.m. at the
Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue, Evanston 60201-3886
By Robert Stelton, Editor of the Codex