The remains of a Stone Age-era dog and his master were found buried together at an excavation site in Sweden, with clear photos now showing the ancient canine bones, reports said.
The dog, believed to have been buried more than 8,400 years ago, was uncovered by archaeologists in Sölvesborg, about 350 miles south of Stockholm, in late September, the Daily Mail reported.
An animal osteologist who completed a preliminary exam of the bones said the dog’s breed has long since vanished but could be compared to a “powerful greyhound.”
The faithful pooch was buried with its master as part of his “grave goods” — an ancient tradition where the dead were buried with treasured objects.
The discovery was part of a major excavation that’s been underway since 2015 — one of the largest ever completed in the region — and required months of scraping and brushing at the Blekinge Museum to reveal the dog’s bone structure, the outlet said.
“The dog is well preserved, and the fact that it is buried in the middle of the Stone Age settlement is unique,” Ola Magnell, an osteologist from the museum, said following the initial discovery.
The artifacts were so well preserved because many centuries ago, “a sudden and violent increase of the sea level” caused the once-coastal site to be covered with sand and mud, which kept the remains intact, said Carl Persson, the museum’s project manager.
The findings make modern folks “feel even closer to the people who lived here,” Persson said in a statement.
“A buried dog somehow shows how similar we are over the millennia when it comes to the feelings like grief and loss.”