Dogs: History, Myth, Art
Archaeological evidence of truly domestic dogs dates back to the Stone Age, when humans lived as bands of hunter-gatherers. The long association that followed, with dogs living alongside people as hunters and companions, guardians and guides, has a treasured place in history and myth—and in a wealth of art and artifacts that document and celebrate this ancient relationship. Dogs: History, Myth, Art explores these cultural expressions and reflections of our deep and long-standing interest in dogs. Here, in exquisite reproductions, are life-size sculptures and tiny engraved gems, ceramic floor tiles and stone wall-reliefs, gold ornaments and ceramic vessels, pocketknife handles and miniature paintings, all depicting dogs from prehistory to the present. Through these illustrations—drawn from the collections of the British Museum—author Catherine Johns considers the evolution of the species, its earliest interactions with human communities, its importance in history and culture, and its role in symbolism, mythology, and legend. Dogs’ wild cousins, wolves, jackals, and foxes, also play a role in this story, and so appear alongside their domestic counterparts in this book’s engaging tour of cultural perceptions and depictions of dogs. The juxtaposition and explanation of images as diverse as Greek pottery, Victorian jewelry, Assyrian sculpture, and Japanese netsuke, as well as drawings and paintings from 1850 bc to the twentieth century, illuminates our understanding of the place of dogs in human society around the world.