Ancient DNA Indicates Domesticated Dogs Descended from South East Asian Wolves 33,000 Years Ago

A new study in Cell Research,suggests dogs were domesticated in Southeast Asia. The team sequenced the entire genomes of 12 gray wolves, 27 dogs indigenous to Asia and Africa and a collection of 19 diverse breeds from across the globe.

This year, scientists analyzed the DNA from this 35,000-year-old piece of rib bone from an ancient wolf. The results suggest that dogs could have been domesticated as early as 40,000 years ago.
This year, scientists analyzed the DNA from this 35,000-year-old piece of rib bone from an ancient wolf. The results suggest that dogs could have been domesticated as early as 40,000 years ago.

Their analysis reveals that there was two phases of dog domestication. Firstly, there was on began in China around 33,000 years ago. A second phase started 18,000 years later in which the dog spread around the world. Savolainen, one of the authors, stated

“We then found out that dogs from Southeast Asia stand out from all other dog populations, because they have the highest genetic diversity and are genetically closest to the wolf.”

Around 15,000 years ago, the dogs began migrating out of Southeast Asia towards Africa and the Middle East. They arrived in Europe around 10,000 years ago and gave rise to the modern assortment of dog breeds that we see today.

2 thoughts on “Ancient DNA Indicates Domesticated Dogs Descended from South East Asian Wolves 33,000 Years Ago

  1. But there is the Altai dog, which is clearly ancestral to Native American dogs and is dated precisely c. 33 Ka BP. Considering how genetic “molecular-clock-o-logy” tends to distort things, almost invariably towards shorter chronologies than would be realistic (because of several biases in the underlying assumptions), I’d say that the most likely scenario is that the dog was first domesticated in SE Asia in a quite older date and brought to Altai with the {Y-DNA K2 + mtDNA R} expansion from that region. The date therefore would need to be pre-50 Ka BP, because the early UP is what corresponds with the arrival of these migrants to West and Central Eurasia.

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