A ‘new’ palaeolithic dog from central Europe



Kesslerloch Cave in Switzerland is one of the major Magdalenian sites in Central Europe. During a recent reanalysis of the faunal remains, we identified a cranial fragment and teeth of the domestic dog. The large maxillar fragment was directly dated to 12.225±45 bp (KIA-33350) or c. 14.100-14.600 BP. The finds are metrically well below the natural variability of wolves from both Palaeolithic and recent times and even show slight morphological differences to the wild wolves from the site. We argue that the maxilla fragment must now be considered the earliest indisputable directly dated evidence of a domestic dog. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.