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Dog burials associated with Human burials in the West Indies during the early pre-Columbian Ceramic Age (500 BC-600 AD)

par Christine LEFEVRE - publié le

By Sandrine Grouard and Karyne Debue.

Across the Caribbean, the widespread presence of canine remains at archaeological
sites from the Saladoid period raises questions about the role of “man’s
best friend.” Dog (Canis familiaris) remains have been found located in both
refuse middens and burials adjacent to human graves in a number of sites in
the French Antilles and Barbuda, West Indies. This paper will critically examine
dog remains and discuss the varied duality of the dog’s role in the Saladoid
world : from food source to lifelong companion. The importance of dogs within
Amerindian sites from Saint Martin, the Guadeloupe archipelago, Martinique
and Barbuda will be explored from a zooarchaeological perspective, concluding
with a critical discussion of changes in cultural patterns, as seen through
the decline in dog remains during the Troumassoid and Suazoid period at the
sites in the French Antilles.