Never Underestimate the Power of a Canine Nose

(Vedrana Glavaš /Department of Archaeology,Univerity of Zadar)

Canine Archaeologists Sniff Out 3,000-Year-Old Graves in Croatia

by Jason Daley/

Dogs have helped law enforcement and search-and-rescue crews discover human remains for decades. But recently, a new group has enlisted the help of canines and their olfactory superpowers: archaeologists.

In a recent paper in the Journal of Archeological Method and Theory, Vedrana Glavaš, an archaeologist at the University of Zadar in Croatia, and Andrea Pintar, a cadaver dog handler, describe how dogs trained to find human remains helped them track down gravesites dating to around 700 B.C.

For The GuardianJoshua Rapp Learn reports that the team tested the dogs at a hilltop fort called Drvišica along Croatia’s Adriatic coast. Previously, Glavaš had identified tombs in a necropolis near the fort and wanted to find more. However, the irregular, rocky terrain made it difficult to just randomly excavate suspected burial sites. So, in 2015, she decided to contact Pintar, who trains cadaver dogs typically used in criminal cases.

Cadaver dogs are champions at finding remains that are just hours and even several decades old. But the team wasn’t sure if sensitive canine noses could detect the scent of death—actually, the more than 400 scents of death; decomposition releases hundreds of complex compounds—after 2,700 years in the ground.

Read more:


We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.