Old engravings show early dogs

تظهر النقوش القديمة إظهار الكلاب المبكرة - مدونة 2023

Photos by: Maria Guagnin

A new study reveals that the amazing carvings of ancient hunters show him dogs beside him, and most surprisingly, the dogs on a leash.

I like history. And I love dogs. So I love the photos from a new study that shows the old man with 13 dogs by his side, and two of the dogs appear to be wearing leashes.

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Melinda Zeder is an archaeologist with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and says the engravings are most likely about 8,000 years old and may be the oldest offerings with dogs. More than that, the lines connecting dogs from their necks to a man’s waist are probably the first depictions of a bound animal. It’s amazing, she says, as it suggests that humans have been training and controlling dogs for thousands of years more than previously thought, especially for hunting.

She says that obviously more work needs to be done to ensure both the era’s engravings are accurate and what they mean, but in principle Shuwaymis’ scenes are great.

and Shuwaymis in Saudi Arabia. Maria Gagnen is with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany and has spent the last three years cataloging more than 1,400 rock art featuring humans and more than 7,000 depicted animals.

About 10,000 years ago, hunter-gatherers appeared in the scenes, and about 7,000-8,000 years later, paintings began to show more images of herding. They also looked to the nearby area of ​​Jubbah, where they found cattle bones to match the images. In the images, dogs appear to be the early hunting in the engravings. On the Shuwaymis website, 156 dogs are shown, and Jubbah’s paintings show 193. All the dogs appear to be medium in size, with short tails and ears and tanned ears.

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In the panels, dogs face off against wild animals, bite others, and are often depicted as being attached to a human bow and arrow.


Study co-author Angela Berry has studied ancient dogs of the world and has argued many times that dogs were central to early hunting, despite much evidence. She says these engravings are as close to proof as they can be found in the YouTube video.


Canaan Dogs are feral dogs that roam the deserts of the Middle East and look just as adorable as the ancient dogs. This could mean that these people bred dogs who already had hunting skills, or they could have done so independently of the domesticated Arabian wolves.

Although all study participants agree that dating the images is difficult and still needs work, they are still the oldest in history and date before Egyptian sculpture. More than that, they are symbolic of either the restriction and domestication as hunters or the bond between humans and dogs, both of which tell how early man depended on dogs, even then. That the dogs in the engravings had special coat patterns and certain species appear to be important to the engraving artists.

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