We know that man domesticated his best friend about 30,000 years ago but a tooth unearthed at an excavation near Stonehenge has a great new twist!
The tooth, dug up at Blick Mead in Wiltshire, is thought to be evidence of a man and his dog traveling down from Yorkshire.
The dog has been tentatively described as an “Alsation type ” but from one worn molar tooth its not hard to speculate that it could easily be his favourite hound taken on the journey.
An archaeological team from the University of Buckingham’s Humanities Research Institute has discovered very large amounts of Mesolithic material from a site immediately adjacent to Stonehenge but predating the monument by 3000 years. Some 12,000 pieces of worked flint and burnt flint have been unearthed, as well as over 500 pieces of bone dating from over 8,000 years ago. Virtually all the tools are in pristine condition – indeed, some of the team have had their fingers cut by them as they are still so sharp.
Researchers at Durham University used carbon dating to discover the age of the tooth and isotope analysis on the enamel has revealed that the dog was born in the York area. It was drinking water from the area when it was young before it went on a journey of about 250 miles to the Stonehenge area with a group of people and ate what the people were eating on this site at Blick Mead. Other bones found near the tooth suggest a diet of salmon, trout, pike, wild pig and red deer. (A Bit Better Than Kibble!)
The fact that a dog and a group of people were coming to the area from such a long distance away further underlines just how important the place was four millennia before the circle was built and discoveries like this give us a completely new understanding of the establishment of the ritual landscape and make Stonehenge even more special than we thought we knew it was
A wolf wouldn’t travel 250 miles and its much more likely that it was from a domesticated dog traveling with its owner.