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This book traces the evolution of the dog, from its origins about 15,000 years ago up to recent times. The timing of dog domestication receives attention, with comparisons between different genetics-based models and archaeological evidence. Allometric patterns between dogs and their ancestors, wolves, shed light on the nature of the morphological changes that dogs underwent. Dog burials highlight a unifying theme of the whole book: the development of a distinctive social bond between dogs and people; the book also explores why dogs and people relate so well to each other. Though cosmopolitan in overall scope, the greatest emphasis is on the New World, with an entire chapter devoted to dogs of the arctic regions, mostly in the New World. Discussion of several distinctive modern roles of dogs underscores the social bond between dogs and people.
Darcy Morey received his Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology in 1990 from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. Subsequently, he spent a year as a guest researcher at the University of Copenhagen Zoological Museum in Denmark. He was there for the express purpose of studying dog remains from archaeological sites in arctic Greenland. In addition to participating in archaeological fieldwork there in 1990, he has worked in Norway, France, and Denmark, as well as numerous places in the United States. He has published actively on a variety of topics, with his work on dogs being especially prominent. On that general topic, he has published as sole or senior author many articles and book reviews in journals such as Arctic, Journal of Archaeological Science, Quarterly Review of Biology, Archaeozoologia, Current Anthropology, and Journal of Alabama Archaeology. Dr Morey has also published on the topic of dogs in popular science outlets, for example the American Scientist and La Recherche. He joined the faculty at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 1998. There, in addition to his ongoing research activities, he was selected by students as the most notable teacher of undergraduates in his department (Anthropology) in 2000. In addition, in 2002 he was elected to the Alpha Pi chapter of Phi Beta Delta, The Honor Society for International Scholars. He resigned from the University of Kansas in 2006 and began working at the University of Tennessee, Martin.