Man’s Best Friend 33,000 Years Ago
The bond between man and dog has always been extremely evident, an unconditioned friendship, at least from the dog’s part, which has lead the latter to be rightfully often referred to as man’s best friend. But how, why, and when did dogs become such a significant part of our lives. By domesticating farm animals like cattle, pigs or sheep, man has come a long way in sustaining himself, and one can assert that both animal domestication and farming played a major role in man’s socio-cultural and psychological evolution. But dogs? While some parts of the world today consume dog meat, and it’s been proven that some North American cultures devised clothing from fabric made out of dog hair, it’s rather safe to say that dogs weren’t domesticated with a practical goal in mind. Man’s ubiquitous need for company might have been the cause for the first domestication attempts, and one of the first such acts might have taken place in the freezing solitude of a cave in the middle of the last ice age.
Recently, scientists have come across a 33,000 year old dog fossil in Siberia, that bears the oldest signs of domestication by man so far found. A similar find was found in Belgium, when a dog fossil from the same period was discovered. When correlating the two, it seems that dog domestication didn’t result from a single event that than sparked a cultural phenomenon, but rather that it came naturally for man to befriend canines, as these isolated fossils suggest.