They say dogs are man's best friend. And, dogs used to be man's best friend even 14,000 years ago, a group of archaeologists have found.
According to a study, which was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, a 14,000-year-old grave reveals the emotional attachment between humans and animals. But how can we come to a conclusion just looking at the 14,000-year-old grave?
As per the study, a group of workers found an ancient grave site at Oberkassel, today a suburb of Bonn, Germany, which included humans and dogs together — a dog, a man, and a woman. Several other decorated objects from the Paleolithic era, which are made of antler, bone, and teeth, were also found in the grave site.
While analyzing the remains, veterinarian and archaeologist Luc Janssens have found that the puppy was suffering from canine distemper. Given that, he explained that the pup could have died sooner as the disease is contagious and incurable. But he lived nine more weeks because of the immense care taken by its masters.
"I'm lucky because I am both a veterinarian and an archaeologist," Janssens is quoted as saying in a report by National Geographic. "Archaeologists aren't always looking for evidence of disease or thinking about the clinical implications, but as a vet, I have had a lot of experience looking for these things in modern dogs."
According to the study, the puppy died when it was 28-weeks-old. And, the gravesite indicates that the people, who were buried alongside the dog, cared about their pet a lot.
However, Canine Distemper is a serious illness that affects dogs and some other certain animals. The symptoms include fever, not eating, dehydration, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.
"Since distemper is a life-threatening sickness with very high mortality rates, the dog must have been perniciously ill between the ages of 19 and 23 weeks," said Liane Giemsch, the paper co-author. "It probably could only have survived thanks to intensive and long-lasting human care and nursing."