BBC History Magazine

Q&A

What’s the earliest mention of a named pet or domestic animal?

People have kept domestic animal companions for thousands of years. In northern Israel, for instance, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a puppy cradled by a human being, some 12,000 years old. Is this the world’s oldest known pet? Unfortunately it is almost impossible to say, as pet-keeping implies affection, and this cannot be read off prehistoric burials.

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