Sniffing out old tombs

What's your artifact doing in Boss Kean's ditch?
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Witness
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Sniffing out old tombs

Post by Witness » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:20 am

Dogs show a nose for archaeology by sniffing out 3,000 year old tombs

Trained canines help locate burial sites dating back to the iron age in Croatia

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The scent-tracking abilities of trained dogs have helped archaeologists discover iron age tombs in Croatia dating back nearly three thousand years.

The dogs sniffed out burial chests containing human bones and artefacts in a hilltop fort in the Velebit mountains along the Adriatic coast. Experts have said that using dogs could be a good way to identify archaeological sites, as it is less destructive than many traditional methods.

“Dogs’ noses obviously don’t make mistakes,” said Vedrana Glavaš, an associate professor of archaeology at the University of Zadar in Croatia and the lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

Glavaš had already found a few tombs in a necropolis near the prehistoric hilltop fort of Drvišica, which dates back to the eight century BC. Hoping to find more, she contacted Andrea Pintar, a trainer who works with dogs used for sniffing out graves in criminal investigations.

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Glavaš then let the dogs loose in an area they suspected more remains could be found, and excavated six new tombs – five of which are described in the recent paper.

The dogs were extremely accurate in every case. The tombs consist of small stone burial chests in the middle of walled stone circles, each about five metres in diameter. Each chest contained small bones such as the fingers and feet of several individuals – perhaps several generations from the same family – along with buckles and other artefacts.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... ient-tombs