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Correction for dates on Russian dogs and their locations

Posted by rlosey on 11 Oct 2013 at 15:06 GMT

The ages reported by Ollivier and colleagues in this article for the Ust’-Belaya (or Ust’ Belaia) and Pad’ Kalashnikova dog skeletons in Table 1 are incorrect. The dog skeletons from these sites were directly AMS radiocarbon dated and reported earlier this year in PLoS ONE (Table 2 in Losey et al. 2013). The calibrated age ranges for these dogs range from 7150 to 6320 cal BP, placing them firmly within the Middle Holocene, not the early Holocene. Ollivier report that these dogs were not directly dated, but they report age ranges for them that seem to be calibrated age ranges (they are specific age ranges reported to the calendar year). Because no citation is provided for the age assessments reported for these dogs and the others reported in Table 1, it is impossible to verify or refute the age ranges they report.

Ust’-Belaya and Pad’ Kalashnikova also are not shown in correct position on Ollivier and colleagues’ Figure 1a. These two sites are located on the Angara River downstream from the modern city of Irkutsk. They are at roughly 53 degrees north latitude, which is essentially the same latitude as the city of Berlin. They are not located near the Arctic Circle, but rather are only 200 km north of the Russian border with Mongolia.

Losey, R.J., S. Garvie-Lok, J.A. Leonard, M.A. Katzenberg, M. Germonpre, T. Nomokonova, M.V. Sablin, O.I. Goriunova, N.E. Berdnikova, N.A. Savel’ev. 2013. Burying Dogs in Ancient Cis-Baikal, Siberia: Temporal Trends and Relationships with Human Diet and Subsistence Practices. PLoS ONE. 8(5): e63740.

Competing interests declared: My competing interests are that I am the lead author of the paper in which the dates for these dog skeletons were published.

RE: Correction for dates on Russian dogs and their locations

mollivier replied to rlosey on 17 Oct 2013 at 07:21 GMT

We will take the new datations into account and cite Losey et al paper. Due to the publication's dates, we couldn't have access to this paper at the time our study was submitted. However it doesn't change the results and messages of our paper.

Morgane Ollivier, Anne Tresset,Jean-Denis Vigne and Catherine Hänni

Competing interests declared: We are authors of Ollivier et al paper.