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Colonial-era dog graves found in Virginia

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Dog remains were discovered in two Colonial-era graves on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

When two "small, rectangular shafts" dating to the late 1600s to mid-1700s were discovered July 13, archaeologists initially thought they contained the remains of children, Joe Jones, director of William & Mary's Center for Archaeological Research, told The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot Friday.

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But the bone fragments, most of which were smaller than a fingernail, turned out to be from small to medium-sized dogs, Jones said, calling the discovery "unprecedented."

"During this period of early Colonial history in Virginia, there's no good evidence for people keeping dogs for household pets. And if not the English colonists, what else might be going on?" Jones asked, leaving open the possibility that the graves were the work of American Indians, who would have been on campus during the early years of the college, which was established in 1693.

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