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Native Dog Burials and Associated Ritual in Coastal Virginia and Beyond

By Jennifer Fitzgerald

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Category Theses

The only domesticated animals on the continent, dogs held a special place among the fauna of North America. Their symbolic and ritual significance is especially evident within Late Woodland sites along the Chickahominy River where several modal patterns of dog burial are present at four sites. Ethnographic and ethnohistorical accounts from related tribes and archaeological evidence from sites across Virginia provide a means of investigating and understanding the multiplicity of meanings that dogs could embody for Native societies in the Eastern Woodlands, particularly as protectors, companions, and messengers. A synthesis of this evidence provides a basis for a richer, contextual understanding of dog burials identified by the Chickahominy River Survey.


Katie Carroll

Date 2009
Pages 62
Publisher The College of William & Mary
Department Anthropology
Degree Bachelor of Arts
Language English
University The College of William & Mary
  1. Animal burial
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Anthropology
  5. Dogs
  6. History
  7. Mammals
  8. native species
  9. Pet ownership
  10. Pets and companion animals
  11. Rituals and Ceremonies
  12. Virginia