A Late Archaic Period Dog Burial from the Tucson Basin, Arizona

Joseph A. Ezzo, Mary C. Stiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In November 1998, the remains of the cranium of a large, mature dog (Canis familiaris) were found in a cultural deposit during archaeological testing at the Late Archaic Costello-King site (AZ AA: 12: 503 [ASM]) in the northern Tucson Basin. The depositional context suggests a deliberate burial, and crude damage to the occipital area of the cranium indicates that the skull had been severed from the body prior to interment. A conventional AMS radiocarbon date on the bone gelatin yielded a date of 2600±50 B.P., and a 13C of-10.0 %o obtained from the gelatin suggests a diet containing a significant C4 component. We discuss the remains in terms of Late Archaic/Early Formative period human utilization of domestic canids in southern Arizona, and how the 13C value might be used as a proxy measure for human diets of this time period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-305
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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