The remains, which were discovered by archaeologists at a Teotihuacan pyramid burial chamber, are the first physical proof that wolf-dogs were intentionally crossbred “as a symbol of the city’s warriors,” the AP reported. The bones were found by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in 2004 and analyzed that the National Autonomous University (UNAM).
“In oral traditions and old chronicles, dog-like animals appear with symbols of power or divinity,” INAH spokesman Francisco De Anda told the AP. “But we did not have skeletal evidence … this is the first time we have proof.”
“Several jaw bones were made into a sort of decorative garment found on the warrior’s skeleton at the 2,000-year-old site north of Mexico City,” the news agency reported. “The wolf-dog apparently served as a symbol of strength and power.”
Eight of the bones discovered by the researchers were from wolf-dogs, three were from dogs, and two were said to be a mix of wolf-dog and coyote.