Estimating the Body Weight of Dogs Unearthed from the Van-Yoncatepe Necropolis in Eastern Anatolia


Abstract: Two burial chambers dating back to 1000 BC have been brought to light in the Van-Yoncatepe necropolis in Eastern Anatolia. In these two chambers (M5 and M6), plenty of skeletal remains belonging to dogs buried together with humans were discovered. The finds were a dog skeleton lying in-situ in burial chamber M5 and a number of bones scattered in three layers in burial chamber M6. Humeral and femoral circumferences were used to estimate the body weight of these dogs, and the data obtained from these measurements enabled us to further our knowledge of the formats of Van-Yoncatepe dogs. The dog from burial chamber M5 was estimated to have a body weight of 20.963 kg. The measurements of the bones discovered in M6 revealed that the dogs in this chamber might have had a mean body weight of 28.105 kg. Considering their weights, it was concluded that Van-Yoncatepe dogs could be placed in the group of large-size dogs. These dogs were deemed to assume significant social roles in and to have a close relation with the prehistoric societies living in the area at that time.

Keywords: Body weight, bone measurements, dog, Van-Yoncatepe, Early Iron-Age

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