Dating between people and dogs
They gained a docile disposition, becoming both less frightening and less fearful.We raised puppies well before we raised kittens or chickens; before we herded cows, goats, pigs, and sheep; before we planted rice, wheat, barley, and corn; before we remade the world.“Remove domestication from the human species, and there’s probably a couple of million of us on the planet, max,” says archaeologist and geneticist Greger Larson. Seven billion people, climate change, travel, innovation and everything. And dogs were the first.” For most of human history, “we’re not dissimilar to any other wild primate.We’re manipulating our environments, but not on a scale bigger than, say, a herd of African elephants.And then, we go into partnership with this group of wolves.Larson interprets this as evidence of a long migration.He thinks that the two dog lineages began as a single population in the east, before one branch broke off and headed west.Some claim it happened in Europe, others in the Middle East, or East Asia.Some think early human hunter-gatherers actively tamed and bred wolves.
Larson and his colleague Laurent Frantz then compared the Newgrange sequences with those of almost 700 modern dogs, and built a family tree that revealed the relationships between these individuals.
They altered our relationship with the natural world.”Larson wants to pin down their origins.
He wants to know when, where, and how they were domesticated from wolves.
“Somebody goes: what ingredients were added, in what proportion and in what order, to make that soup? “The patterns we see could have been created by 17 different narrative scenarios, and we have no way of discriminating between them.”The only way of doing so is to look into the past.
Larson, who is fast-talking, eminently likable, and grounded in both archaeology and genetics, has been gathering fossils and collaborators in an attempt to yank the DNA out of as many dog and wolf fossils as he can.