Archaeologists have analyzed the bones from the 2400-year-old pot of soup found in a tomb near the ancient capital of Xian, and despite how painfully stereotypical this is, it turns out those bones belonged to a dog. A puppy, no less.
Hu Songmei, a researcher who did most of the lab work to identify the bones, said they found the bones were “strikingly similar” to four complete sets of canine skeletons preserved at the institute’s lab.
The newly found bones, however, were smaller, indicating the dog was just a pup, said Hu.
Hu said further lab work was needed to tell the exact species of the canine. “Dogs were domesticated by humans at least 10,000 years ago, but the early dog species that evolved from wild wolves could be very different from today’s pet dogs.”
There were 37 bones found in the bronze vessel from the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), and another bronze container held the remains of what appears to be wine. The food and drink were offerings made to the deceased and his ancestors by his surviving family.
Researchers will continue to analyze the remains of the stew and the beverage in hopes of discovering what else was in there besides Fido.