Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of an ancient journey taken by a “hunter-gatherer” man and his dog back in the Mesolithic era, or about 7,000 years ago or so. Scientific testing done on a dog’s tooth found near Stonehenge has uncovered a number of exciting things according to David Jacques, one of the lead scientists currently working the site.
The encampment is called Blick Mead, and aside from telling the tale of a 250-mile trip taken by a man and his dog, it also gives evidence for the early domestication of dogs. The dog’s tooth suggests that he or she may have been an aid in hunting, and that the dog originated from an area which is now called the Vale of York.
“It is an amazing sequence,” said Jacques. “There is nothing like it in Europe and now we’ve got this evidence from the dog you start to piece it together. You can see that this place seems to have special to not just local people, it seems to have been drawing in people from long distances away and the sort of distances you would not expect for mobile hunter-gatherers.”
The find ultimately advances what archaeologists understand about Blick Mead, the surrounding area, and it’s wide spread significance to peoples from all over what is now the UK. Jacques said that it makes things a little more clear of how some of the first peoples to settle there came to populate the area, where they were coming from, and what life was like for them.
“Discoveries like this give us a completely new understanding of the establishment of the ritual landscape and make Stonehenge even more special than we thought we knew it was,” said Jacques. “It makes us wonder if this place is a hub point, a really important place for the spread of ideas, new technologies and probably genes. You have small dispersed populations of people in Britain and people are probably getting it together and families are coming out of that. In a sense it is probably quite a multicultural environment.”