The iron age dogs from alaybeyi höyük, eastern anatolia

Creative Commons License

Siddiq A. B., ONAR V., MUTUŞ R., Poradowski D.

Animals, vol.11, no.4, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ani11041163
  • Journal Name: Animals
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Alaybeyi Höyük, Canis lupus familiaris, Eastern Anatolia, Human–dog relationship, Iron Age
  • Istanbul Gelisim University Affiliated: No


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.To date, little is known about the biological and cultural status of Iron Age dogs in Anatolia. Here, we present a zooarchaeological study of an assemblage of 143 Iron Age dog bones, including two dog skeletons, unearthed from the 2016 and 2017 salvage excavations at Alaybeyi Höyük, Eastern Anatolia. At least eight adults and one juvenile individual, along with a large number of miscellaneous specimens, were identified. The morphological status of the Alaybeyi dogs were primarily compared to previously published Iron Age dogs from Yoncatepe in Eastern Anatolia, and with the average mean of 18 modern dog breeds. Unlike in other Eastern Anatolian Iron Age sites, butcher marks were observed in some specimens, indicating at least occasional cynophagy at the site. Noticeable pathologies were found in about 5% of the sample, particularly pathologies of the oral cavity and dentitions, suggesting that some of the dogs at Alaybeyi Höyük might have been undernourished, had to live on solid food, and probably injured by humans. The results of this study reflect both the morphological and biological status of Alaybeyi dogs, as well as the Alaybeyi people’s attitudes toward dogs, adding vital information to the very limited archaeological knowledge of dogs in Anatolia.