Sunday, September 24, 2006

old dogs, old tricks

dog mummies (no relation to my mummy) were found in peru, buried next to their owners and with snacks! kind of a waste of snacks if you ask me. but it does put a wrinkle in my pal sid's attempt to develop a dog-based theology (dogeology). do dogs have an afterlife? the ancient peruvians seem to think so:

LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - An ancient Peruvian culture loved its dogs so much it buried them alongside humans and even tossed in some tasty treats for the afterlife. Now, researchers are working to get these very same dogs official breed status.

The dogs, billed Chiribaya shepherds for their llama-herding abilities, were prized by the Chiribaya people who lived in southern Peru before the Incan empire.

Archeologists digging to discover more about the culture have found 43 dog remains dating back 1,000 years. Their bodies were naturally mummified by the region's desert sands -- making their identification as a possible distinct breed much easier.

"In other cultures, dogs were sacrificed. But here the dog's burial contemplated an afterlife because in some cases it was wrapped in cloths and buried along with food in a cemetery for humans," said anthropologist Sonia Guillen, adding that such treatment of pets was only seen before in ancient Egypt.


Blogger Sid the Dog said...

Hmm... I wish we knew more about the ancient Peruvians' belief system re: dogs in the hereafter. If only these mummies could talk. Well, actually, that would be pretty creepy. Anyway, I'm sure that the Peruvian view of the dog afterlife was a lot less treacly than the Rainbow Bridge. I'm also heartened by the lack of cat and ferret mummies. Do you know if the treats were still edible? Seems like a shame if not...

8:54 AM  

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