Dog Skeleton

Archaeologists discover more than 100 dog skeletons dating back 1,000 years

(Read the article on one page)

Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of over 100 dogs , thought to be 1,000 years old, lying alongside human remains in the ancient ruins of Parque de las Leyendas in Lima, Peru.  It is believed that the dogs were buried with their Masters as part of a ritual burial ceremony.

The Parque de las Leyendas is located amidst a big part of Lima's most extensive ancient city and is one of the most important pre-Hispanic complexes at the central Peruvian coast called the Archaeological Complex of Maranga. Archaeologists were excavating a section of the archaeological complex when they made the surprising discovery.

Sixty-two complete dog skeletons were found along with seventy-five incomplete remains.  All the dog remains were found in resting positions alongside humans.  It is most likely that when the dog’s Master died, the dog was killed in order to serve as a companion after death.

“We cannot determine with total certainty yet whether these animals were used in some kind of ritual, but given the evidence, that is the hypothesis we are handling,” said Lucénida Carrión, head of the zoo’s department of archaeology.

It is not the first time that ancient dog remains have been found in Peru. In 2006, archaeologists discovered forty mummified dogs in a 1,000-year-old pet cemetery south of Lima.  The dogs had their own graves and many of them were found with food and blankets, suggesting a belief that the animals have an afterlife.  In 2010, another 6 dogs thought to be 1,000 years old were found and earlier this year, archaeologists uncovered the remains of six more mummified dogs and four mummified children dating back to the 15 th century.

The findings indicate that dogs had an important status in ancient pre-Hispanic culture and that Peruvians clearly respected and honoured their dogs.

By April Holloway

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Technology

Invention of Wheel - Sumer
In today’s world, technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. The latest gadget today is tomorrow’s antique. As a result of this rapid development of technology, we often take things for...

Ancient Places

Google Earth image of manmade stone structures in Saudi Arabia
Deep in the heart of Saudi Arabia, 400 peculiar stone structures have been found, dating back thousands of years ago. These stone features were discovered by archaeologists with the use of satellite imagery, identifying what they call stone "gates" in an extremely unwelcome and harsh area of the Arabian Peninsula.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article