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3 artificially intelligence drawn generic dogs and wolves mixtures

Welcome to The Pack!

*** UPDATE***

01 September 2023

Many thanks for all of your AMAZING support for our project - ye are all brilliant! See list of Backers on our Backer's wall and our Sponsors for Phase I support. We are blown away with your support for our grassroots project.  We will continue to have a some digital and physical awards in our 'Shop' to help support the project, or until they run out (e.g. Backer's naming rights).

We will now continue with Phase II, we need to sort out which dogs and horses from various archaeological sites get dated, apply for NMI licencing in Ireland (different rules for Britain), and then once granted permission, we can take the bones samples for dating, aDNA and isoptopes. But before that, the bones being sampled will all be measured and scanned to produce 3D models. This is to ensure we always have a copy of the original bone prior to sampling.



This grassroots research project was created from discussions on Twitter with many global specialists based on their love of dogs, wolves and horses, and great interest was shown by so many, including you!

Come along on our long walk into the past, find out where these Viking-Age and Medieval periods' dogs, wolves and horses lead us. They have stories to tell, and we need to listen carefully, their bones will say so much to us!

We formed a collaborative team of zooarchaeologists, zoologists, geneticists, geochemists, radiocarbon dating specialists and archaeologists, along with a visual artist in residence, and of course our Guardian, Nala, a Caucasian Shepherd dog to watch over us.

This pioneering project will run from 2022 to 2028, studying bones from across several sites in Ireland and Britain. The Researcher Pack will investigate the origins, diet, sizes and gender of dogs and wolves, their roles, and the roles of horses in human societies in Viking-Age and Medieval times.

Not much is known about dogs from Viking-Age and Medieval periods, apart from their body sizes: small, medium and large types. There were no dog breeds as we know them today.

  • Perhaps some were 'pet' wolves or dogs interbred with wolves?

  • Were some dogs associated with status of their owner?

  • Were there special working or functional relationships between horses and dogs?

  • Did different dog types have different roles in Medieval societies?

  • Did Vikings bring their own dogs with them from their far-reaching travels?


Follow our project adventures via the updates (aka Bite-sized Treats), and Twitter and Facebook posts (#VikingDublinDogs, #JoinThePack), as we journey back in time with these dogs, wolves and horses, and see what we can discover about them. 


Subscribe to our mailing list below, get special Pack updates, and never miss out on a Treat and updates!

Join The Pack!

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Dog Skeleton #4 - Dog - Kanine -- Dog Skeleton 1.png
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a round table filled with different cups of coffee, black coffee and milky coffee

We work better with coffee/tea (and treats for our canine companions).

Any donations gratewoofly appreciated and these donations go to website maintenance costs and radiocarbon dating costs. Thank you!

Join The Pack and never miss out on an update!

Thanks for joining The Pack

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- Podcasts & Outreach -

Hear members of the Researcher Pack talk about our project, from the start and all the way through the project

Listen back to Dr Ruth Carden (PI), Dr Rena Maguire and Dr Mary Valante from Viking Dublin Dogs Researcher Pack talking with Dr Tom Horne, Red River Archaeology Group, on The Shindig podcast - Listen here on Spotify and see us on YouTube

Listen back to Dr Ruth Carden talking about her research projects including Viking Dublin Dogs on the Irish Stew Podcast, 17 July 2023

Listen back to Dr Ruth Carden talking with Ray all about the project, on the Ray D'Arcy RTÉ Radio 1 show, broadcast on 4 July 2023

Amplify Archaeology podcast, with Dr Ruth Carden (PI) & Dr Rebbeca Boyd, June 2023

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