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New Evidence of the Earliest Domestic Dogs in the Americas

By Angela Perri, Chris Widga, Dennis Lawler, Terrance Martin, Thomas Loebel, Kenneth Farnsworth, Luci kohn, Brent Buenger

Posted 11 Jun 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/343574 (published DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2018.74)

The domestication of dogs probably occurred in Eurasia by 16,000 years ago, with the initial peopling of the Americas potentially happening around the same time. Dogs were long thought to have accompanied the first migrations into the Americas, but conclusive evidence for Paleoindian dogs is lacking. The direct dating of two dogs from the Koster site (Greene Co., Illinois) and a newly-described dog from the Stilwell II site (Pike Co., Illinois) to between 10,190-9,630 cal BP represents the earliest evidence of domestic dogs in the Americas and individual dog burials in worldwide archaeological record. The over 4,500 year discrepancy between the timing of initial human migration into the Americas and the earliest evidence for domesticated dogs suggests either earlier dogs are going unseen or unidentified or dogs arrived later with a subsequent human migration.

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