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Mon Jun 15, 2020, 02:02 AM

Reindeer were domesticated much earlier than previously thought, new study suggests

JUNE 12, 2020

by Geoff McMaster, University of Alberta

Working closely with the Nenets people indigenous to the Iamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, U of A archeologists determined that 2,000-year-old artifacts recovered from the Arctic tundra are likely pieces of harnesses used to train reindeer to pull sleds. Credit: Robert Losey

A University of Alberta anthropologist has found what might be the earliest evidence for domestication of reindeer in the Eurasian Arctic.

While examining the remains of ancient dogs at a site called Ust'-Polui near Salekhard in northern Siberia, Robert Losey and his team unearthed a number of artifacts that appeared to relate to reindeer harnesses, which radiocarbon dating has determined to be about 2,000 years old.

In May and June of 2019, Losey's team spent a month living with contemporary Indigenous Nenets reindeer herders on the Iamal tundra above the Arctic Circle. The Nenets scrutinized replicas of the artifacts and identified them as headgear parts for training young reindeer in pulling sleds.

"We weren't sure about any of these artifacts—what this stuff was, or how it works," he said. "It's just a bunch of straps, and antler pieces and swivels—a confusing mess."


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Reply Reindeer were domesticated much earlier than previously thought, new study suggests (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2020 OP
iemitsu Jun 2020 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jun 15, 2020, 02:06 AM

1. Santa has been around a long time.

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