Bronze Age Dog Burial at Ban Non Wat

When I was working at Ban Non Wat in December and January, the square I was co-supervising with my friend and JCU student Belinda turned up a dog burial!  It was, by far, one of the coolest things I’ve ever found in my short career as an archaeologist.  There’s a nice article about the find at the JCU website here.

Belinda nick-named him (her?) Sampson and it looks like the name stuck!

This picture shows two of the Ban Non Wat villagers working on excavating the dog burial. Lop (on the left) and Jim (on the right) have been working for the project for many years and are highly skilled field archaeologists.  When a burial is found at BNW, we usually let the Thai villagers work on clearing the dirt and excavating it because they are so careful.

The dog was buried with two bowls (food and water??) and one paw carefully placed over one of the bowls. The other paw was resting under its chin. It’s easy to imagine this was someone’s trusty companion.

Here is Sampson after most of the dirt has been cleared away.

Below are just a few of the many dogs who live at Ban Non Wat now

6 responses to “Bronze Age Dog Burial at Ban Non Wat

  1. the blueprint of the dog found look like they are big

  2. Thanks Piseth- yes, it looked like a HUGE (but friendly?) dog 🙂

  3. Christina Sewall

    He had such a large ridge down the center of his skull – somebody commented that this indicated the tremendous power of his jaws.

  4. Alison, was the dog buried at a structural point in a building, by any chance (at the bottom of footings, or in the foundation somehow)?

  5. Hey Erik- We don’t have any clear evidence for structures in that area. In layers above the dog there were hard clay surfaces (floors?) and evidence for small-scale metalworking of some kind (a possible furnace and some broken crucibles). There were lots of holes, some of which may have been post holes from pilings for a house, but it’s almost impossible to say for sure because there was no preservation.

  6. Pingback: A spectacular dog burial from Ban Non Wat | SEAArch - The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog