Date Thesis Awarded

5-2014

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Neil Norman

Committee Member

Joanne Bowen

Committee Member

Oliver Kerscher

Abstract

Excavations at Anderson’s Armoury in Colonial Williamsburg revealed six dog burials dating to the last quarter of the 18th century. The position of the dogs near a large sawpit, containing the articulated remains of roosters, a duck, and a cat, suggest that these dogs may have been used in dog fighting. An alternative hypothesis proposes that these dogs may have instead been used for the purposes of working and guarding the armoury. To investigate these claims, a detailed osteological analysis was performed on each of the dogs, essentially creating a biological profile. Additionally, documentary research provided contextual information on the histories of dog fighting and guarding, attitudes towards dogs, and the biological history of the dog.

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