chapter  2
Domestication and the embodied human–dog relationship
Archaeological perspectives from Siberia
ByRobert J. Losey, Tatiana Nomokonova, Lacey Fleming, Katherine Latham, Lesley Harrington
Pages 20

In this chapter, the authors describe some of the opportunities and challenges involved with studying dog domestication in archaeology as social practice. To do this, they use examples drawn from archaeological research in Siberia. This vast region has a material record of human–dog engagements that spans thousands of years. Archaeologists have tended to address a distinct set of questions in regard to the domestication of the dog. Close personal and emotional relationships emerged between some people and dogs, and this meant that their deaths would have been mourned. Embodied in the skeletons of domestic animals then are not just the morphological and genetic changes that are said to mark specimens as 'domesticated' or 'wild', but also details of life histories that emerged in concert with other species, things, and places. Domestication itself is variously and contentiously defined, but nonetheless is widely regarded as a major evolutionary transition in human history.