View Full Version : Continuity of dog genomes from the Early Neolithic

17-03-17, 16:35
See:Laura Botigue et al
Ancient European dog genomes reveal continuity since the early Neolithic


"Europe has played a major role in dog evolution, harbouring the oldest uncontested Paleolithic remains and having been the centre of modern dog breed creation. We sequenced the whole genomes of an Early and End Neolithic dog from Germany, including a sample associated with one of Europe's earliest farming communities. Both dogs demonstrate continuity with each other and predominantly share ancestry with modern European dogs, contradicting a previously suggested Late Neolithic population replacement. Furthermore, we find no genetic evidence to support the recent hypothesis proposing dual origins of dog domestication. By calibrating the mutation rate using our oldest dog, we narrow the timing of dog domestication to 20,000-40,000 years ago. Interestingly, we do not observe the extreme copy number expansion of the AMY2B gene that is characteristic of modern dogs and has previously been proposed as an adaptation to a starch-rich diet driven by the widespread adoption of agriculture in the Neolithic."

16-04-17, 18:35
This enhances my view that Europeans tend to value the dog far more than other cultures/regions. My guess would be that this has to do with using the dog as a means to assist humans in coping with the challenges of the receding ice cap over Europe. The dog could track prey, assist in 'herding game', flushing game for killing by projectiles, and perhaps chasing game over prepared ditches (so that the game would fall and be disabled or killed). In addition, dogs gave early warning (perhaps not as well as the Roman geese), had threatening growls and gestures that kept away other predators and hostile or foreign humans, and was loyal and gave companionship. For all these and other reasons I overlooked, the dog was helpful in that sort of environment.

(Assumes African origin of humanity) If Asia was first settled by the southern route, then the benefit of the dog would not be obvious to Asians. It would be in the first instance another source of food, and secondarily a hunt assistant, companion, etc. North Africa, the Near East and Middle East would likely see some benefit to the dog, but less than Europeans. The sub-Saharan Africans would likely be the least likely to see benefit of the dog, except to the extent that retro-migration did occur.

16-04-17, 19:10
Ancient people treated dogs as humans in whole Eurasia.

- Mesolithic burials in north and north-west Europe

It is uncertain how we should interpret the comparatively widespread occurrence of dog bones in these graves. This is because of the distinctive ways in which these animals were treated. Some appear to have been sacrificed in the graves of members of the community, whilst others were buried separately within the cemetery at Skateholm and were even provided with red ochre and with offerings in their own right. In one of the graves at that site these items were arranged in the same configuration as they were in the human burials (Larsson 1990).

- neolithic Kitoi culture in lake baikal

Not only did the Kitoi and their dogs share the same diet and parasites, they also shared the same cemetery on the shores of Lake Baikal. “It’s a stunning landscape,” Losey says, “and the Kitoi had an elaborate mortuary tradition, which they extended to their dogs. They treated them just like a person.
Indeed, in some places the gravediggers moved aside human remains to make room for a prized dog. “One was buried with a necklace of four red deer-teeth pendants, the same type of necklace the Kitoi wore. Another had a spoon tucked beside it and others were found with stone tools.” The dogs themselves were carefully positioned. Some were placed in a crouching pose with their heads resting on their paws and others were laid curled on their sides, as if asleep. Two dogs were buried with an adult male human; one curled next to him on his right, the other to his left. “People only do this when they have close emotional bonds with their animals,” Losey observes, “and the Kitoi clearly did with their dogs. A dog was a member of the family, and treated as such when it died.”

- Jommon in japan

Two complete dog skeletons were recovered during archeological excavations from 1961 to 1970 at the Kamikuroiwa rock shelter, a site that yielded a series of cultural entities from the Late Pleistocene, Incipient Jomon, and Early Jomon periods. Since two dogs were buried close to human skeletons, it was thought that these dogs had been buried by Jomon people, and hence provided the oldest direct evidence of Canis domestication in Japan. However, the stratigraphic information and archeological contexts of these dog skeletons are incomplete due to the lack of detailed excavation reports and technical limitations of excavations at this site. Because the date of the dog burials has not been fully discussed in the context of modern chronology or recent discussions on Canis domestication, we directly measured radiocarbon ages and stable isotope analysis on two dog burials and one set of human remains from the Kamikuroiwa rock shelter. These data are important for reconstructing the relationship between humans and dogs in the Jomon period. Our results show that the human thought to have been buried with the dogs was assigned to the middle Initial Jomon period (8977–8725 calBP), whereas, on the other hand, dates for the dog burials are very close to each other and were assigned to the latest Initial Jomon or the initial Early Jomon periods (7414–7273 calBP). Although these results are not consistent with previous archeological interpretations for this site, they remain important because these two dog burials are among the oldest evidence of Canis domestication in East Asia.

-And two dogs mistery?

In the Mesolithic Veret'e-Popovo there is already a burial of a child of 7-9 years with two dogs. Such burials with two dogs then found in the Corded Ware. Probably this is the birth of the Indo-European funeral cult and the myth about two dogs (now called "Hellhound") - guides and friends in the afterlife. Later transformed into:
-Two-headed Cerberus in Greek mythology (this variant oldest and more visually represented)
-Two dogs of Indian God of the dead Yama - Sarvara and Udumbala.
-Two dogs in the Avesta, guarding the Chinwad Bridge in the world of the dead.
Also noteworthy is the funeral of Patroclus in the Iliad. Achiless killed two dogs, and threw them into the funeral pyre to Patroclus.

It is astoundingly, that the roots of this apparently from North Mesolithic.

16-04-17, 19:46
Ancient people treated dogs as humans in whole Eurasia.

- Mesolithic burials in north and north-west Europe

- neolithic Kitoi culture in lake baikal

- Jommon in japan

-And two dogs mistery? Well, the first and last citations are European. I didn't mention Central Asia in my comment as the interplay of people and nature and movement of people are complex. As to Japan, they have their own breed(s), the Akita being a prominent one. With its latitude, the Japanese could easily have seen the benefits of the dog.

Baikal Human- Dog interaction:

Japanese dogs:

21-04-17, 04:54
Genetic structure in village dogs reveals a Central Asian domestication origin(2015):


Dogs were the first domesticated species, but the precise timing and location of domestication are hotly debated. Using genomic data from 5,392 dogs, including a global set of 549 village dogs, we find strong evidence that dogs were domesticated in Central Asia, perhaps near present-day Nepal and Mongolia. Dogs in nearby regions (e.g., East Asia, India, and Southwest Asia) contain high levels of genetic diversity due to their proximity to Central Asia and large population sizes. Indigenous dog populations in the Neotropics and South Pacific have been largely replaced by European dogs, whereas those in Africa show varying degrees of European vs. indigenous African ancestry.


Dogs were the first domesticated species, originating at least 15,000 y ago from Eurasian gray wolves. Dogs today consist primarily of two specialized groups—a diverse set of nearly 400 pure breeds and a far more populous group of free-ranging animals adapted to a human commensal lifestyle (village dogs). Village dogs are more genetically diverse and geographically widespread than purebred dogs making them vital for unraveling dog population history. Using a semicustom 185,805-marker genotyping array, we conducted a large-scale survey of autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y chromosome diversity in 4,676 purebred dogs from 161 breeds and 549 village dogs from 38 countries. Geographic structure shows both isolation and gene flow have shaped genetic diversity in village dog populations. Some populations (notably those in the Neotropics and the South Pacific) are almost completely derived from European stock, whereas others are clearly admixed between indigenous and European dogs. Importantly, many populations—including those of Vietnam, India, and Egypt—show minimal evidence of European admixture. These populations exhibit a clear gradient of short-range linkage disequilibrium consistent with a Central Asian domestication origin."