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New discovery at Stonehenge confirms dogs always man’s best friend

Posted on 17th October 2016

Dogs are man’s best friend, so the saying goes, and a new historical discovery has now proved that this bond between human and canine may always have existed. At a site near the legendary Stonehenge, an ancient tooth has been uncovered by archaeologists, which is believed to be from a pet dog. The area, which has long been popular with visitors on holiday in Wiltshire, has become the home of yet more pioneering historical discoveries, uncovering new information for archaeologists.

 Dog and owner

The tooth was excavated at Blick Mead in Wiltshire, and is thought to hold the key to understanding the earliest journey ever made in British history. After tests were performed on the fossilised tooth, it was found that the canine owner of the tooth had travelled some 250 miles from York to reach the place where the fossil was found. As carbon dating techniques revealed, this journey was undertaken an astonishing 7,000 years ago.

According to David Jacques, an archaeologist on the project, this is a significant finding. It was not previously known that humans travelled such long distances this early in history.

Scientists say that they know the dog must have been domesticated because of the tooth’s size and shape. It would, however, have had a rather wild diet, eating animals such as salmon, trout, pike, wild pig and red deer.

As the BBC reports, David Jacques said the dog “was drinking from the area when it was young, it went on a journey of about 250 miles to the Stonehenge area with people and it ate what the people were eating on this site at Blick Mead.” He continued, “You would not get a wolf travelling 250 miles but you’re much more likely to get a dog doing that because it’s travelling with its people.”

The discoveries are particularly important because they prove that human populations were visiting Stonehenge 2,000 years before the monument was built. Jacques explains, “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.” So, not only have these findings shown us that the bond between humans and dogs has long been a huge part of our culture, but also that Stonehenge is one of the most important sites in world history.