Pet-Keeping and Animal Sacrifice as Seen Economically and Archaeologically
2013 08 27
By Julie St Jean | HeritageDaily
Pet-keeping and animal sacrifice in antiquity were common practices. How the animals were treated can often be seen archaeologically.
By most modern standards, household pets such as cats and dogs are looked at as companion animals. It can be assumed that some people in the past acquired a similar affection to household or working animals. A companion animal is generally valued as being able to bring its owner a sense of loyalty, comfort, security and friendship.
Aside from being strictly companions, pets may additionally provide a household function such as dogs providing security for the family and household and cats catch and kill small, destructive pests. Companion animals need not always be soft and cuddly housemates and dogs and cats were not the only animals valued as pets. In some medieval and post-medieval farming societies, cattle and sheep were regarded as companion animals in life but at the time of their death, they quickly were converted from pet-status to food commodity (Harris 1986, 177-178).
Historical evidence surrounding the keeping of pets clearly shows that animals were prized not only for their household duties, but some, for more non-practical reasons. Some companion animals came to symbolize the status of a person or family. Lap dogs were in fashion in the early seventeenth century, as they are today.
The tiny dogs were a sure sign of wealth and status as evident by the sheer uselessness of the dog. Lapdogs generally do not catch and kill household pests, could not secure the home of its owner or protect its family from intruders. Aside from being little more than a vocal alarm, lapdogs have virtually no other practical purpose.
In Thomas’ (1983) work, it is stated that, “The Stewarts in particular, were so obsessed with them that in 1617 James I was accused of loving his dogs more than his subjects.” Other not-so-cuddly animals were often kept as non-practical companion animals or symbols of wealth. Exotic birds and monkeys among other unusual critters within the society were also clues to the statuses of their owners. Archaeologically, trade routes and bone evidence give clues to the animals imported and exported by a community. North African tortoises were traded as far back as the seventeenth century (Thomas 2005, 101) and the acquisition or collecting of strange, unusual or non-local animals signifies the elevated status of an individual (Thomas 2005, 101).
Read the full article at: heritagedaily.com
Literary Pets: The Cats, Dogs, and Birds Famous Authors Loved
Beauteous beasts: should we draw the line at genetically modified pets?
Psychic pets and twin telepathy
Names of Dogs in Ancient Greece
Dogs may have helped Humans beat the Neanderthals
Latest News from our Front Page
Nigel Farage (UKIP) Speech on the EU, UK & Mass Immigration
2014 03 08
UKIP Nigel Farage Spring Conference speech - 2014
Red Ice Radio:
Nigel Farage MEP - The State of the EU & The Undemocratic Treaty of Lisbon
Labour wins UK by-election as Ukip trumps Tories
The ruling coalition in the UK was dealt a blow in the latest by-election test, as the UK Independence party pushed the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats into third and fourth ...
Pentagon studying Putin’s body language to predict his behavior
2014 03 07
The Pentagon has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years so that researchers can study the body movements of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in hopes of predicting future behavior.
An article published by USA Today reporter Ray Locker on Thursday and corroborated by documents discovered by RT provides rare insight into a scarcely-discussed military effort that ...
Pentagon Claims That Climate Change ‘Enables Terrorism’
2014 03 07
In it’s latest Quadrennial Defense Review the Pentagon has said that climate change and ’erratic’ climate will cause increased terrorist activity.
The four yearly reports highlight threats that face civilization and this years homed in on climate change causing an increase in terrorism.
It also mentioned that rises in sea levels and other issues associated with a warming planet will lead ...
Scientists Control Tiny Mechanical Probes Inside Human Cells
2014 03 07
Nanotechnology doesn’t get as much attention these days as genetic and stem cell approaches to medicine, but all three aim to target the causes of illness with greater precision and less collateral damage in the rest of the body than conventional approaches.
Nanotech breakthroughs have come more slowly than many had hoped, but a recent success shows progress toward the goal ...
Fukushima: The Ticking Nuclear Bomb. Over 800 Tons of Radioactive Material Pouring into Pacific Ocean
2014 03 07
First published by GR in October 2013
In August this column ran a piece claiming that the Pacific Ocean was being poisoned by radioactive material escaping from Fukushima, two years after the devastating tsunami and meltdown at the Japanese nuclear facility. Three months later, shocking evidence points towards a calamity situation.
Silence from the corporate media.
There is growing evidence coming from ...
|More News » |