Pet "Toy Dogs" Existed 2,000 Years Ago
Wed, April 21, 2021

Pet "Toy Dogs" Existed 2,000 Years Ago

 

“Toy dogs,” which refers to very small breeds of dogs, have existed since the age of the ancient Romans. A recent study published in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences detailed the finding of the remains of a 2,000-year-old tiny dog found in an archaeological dig in Córdoba, Spain. The researchers believe that this canine is one of the oldest recognized cases of micromorphic or tiny dogs within the Roman Empire.

 

Credits: Found in Antiquity

 

While the researchers could not identify what the dog’s external appearance may have been, they found out that it was only nine inches tall. It had a flat nose and tiny limbs and reached adulthood at the time of its death. The findings showed that there’s a possibility that it was sacrificed after the sudden death of a family member. This theory came from the fact that the remains of the dog were found near a human burial site inside the old Roman cemetery of Llanos del Pretorio located in Spain.

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

Previous historical texts proved that canine sacrifice was a common practice in Greek and Roman rites because this allowed them to pay tribute to the gods of the underworld and could postpone impending death. Dogs were also used for practical purposes like hunting and guarding. But Romans also treated dogs as beloved pets, considering the results of the tiny dog’s teeth. According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the researchers showed that it had enjoyed a very similar diet to its owners.

 

Credits: All That’s Interesting

 

“The existence of small dogs as pets, objects of affection and special consideration for their owners, has been known since classical antiquity, a fact corroborated by texts, epigraphy and iconography,” Rafael M. Martínez Sánchez, an archaeologist from the University of Granada and a co-author of the new study, said. 

 

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