Spanish Discovery Raises the Question of Bronze Age Dogs Being Vegetarian

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Spanish Discovery Raises the Question of Bronze Age Dogs Being Vegetarian.

SPANISH discovery’s raises questions on Bronze Age dogs and were they vegetarians. Researchers looking at the remains of dogs found in Spain from the Bronze Age has revealed proteins in the bones which suggest they were given a diet that consisted mainly of cereal grains such as millet. The study shows that the canines which had been domesticated ate barely any meat.

Researchers have been examining remains that date back around 3,000 years from dogs discovered in Spain. They believe that at that time humans did not have much meat so their canine companions would have been mainly vegetarian. It is believed that the heavy carb diet ensured that the dogs had plenty of energy for protecting their owners and herding livestock.


The exact date that dogs first became domesticated is not known but has been hotly debated. Some scientists place the date as 40,000 years ago, while others believe it was only 14,000 years ago, that dogs were first domesticated as reported the Daily Mail.

Silvia Albizuri, a zooarchaeologist at the University of Barcelona, told New Scientist that, “When human societies began to domesticate plants during the Neolithic period, hunting decreased and the human diet was based mainly on vegetables.

“Dogs began to be fed on plants, mainly cereals.”

Albizuri worked with colleagues to study remains which were found near Spain’s Barcelona at the Can Roqueta archaeological site. The site is believed to have been inhabited in the Stone Age and the remains of 36 dogs were discovered at the site.

Krishna Veeramah, a professor of evolutionary science at Stony Brook University, told MailOnline how dogs could have first become domesticated. The Professor explained that, “The process of dog domestication would have been a very complex process, involving a number of generations where signature dog traits evolved gradually.

“The current hypothesis is that the domestication of dogs likely arose passively, with a population of wolves somewhere in the world living on the outskirts of hunter-gatherer camps feeding off refuse created by the humans.”


Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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