Prehistoric Pet or Favorite Meal?

Randy Fardal
One of the nicest guys I knew in college called himself "Dilligaf".  If you look up the acronym, you'll get a good idea of his carefree outlook on life.  He wasn't a motorcycling anarchist; instead, his independent disposition probably originated from his eating habits.  Even back then, he weighed almost 400 pounds and didn't seem to care -- or perhaps was just resigned to it.

Today, Dilligaf owns a successful restaurant.  No surprise there.  It also wouldn't be surprising if his last will and testament specifies that he should be buried with his favorite college meal -- one that he consumed nightly -- a large deluxe pizza and a six-pack of beer.

If that really is among his final wishes, I hope we don't find out for a long time.  But suppose 16,500 years from now, a future archaeologist discovers that Dilligaf's tomb includes his beloved pizza and beer encased in Lucite.  Will that archaeologist conclude that the 21st Century Americans used pizza and beer for religious ceremonies?  (More than just on Super Bowl Sunday?)

Likewise, suppose someone living 16,500 years ago in northern Jordon was buried with his favorite meal, a fox.  Could today's archaeologists unearth the remains and conclude that the fox was not food but a domesticated pet?  Apparently so:

Before dog was man's best friend, we might have kept foxes as pets, even bringing them with us into our graves, scientists now say.

This discovery, made in a prehistoric cemetery in the Middle East, could shed light on the nature and timing of newly developing relationships between people and beasts before animals were first domesticated. It also hints that key aspects of ancient practices surrounding death might have originated earlier than before thought.

My amateur "favorite meal" hypothesis seems just as valid as the PhDs' "prehistoric pet" hypothesis.  Both are fascinating to ponder and it would be fun to dig up more artifacts that might confirm or refute such conjectures.
One of the nicest guys I knew in college called himself "Dilligaf".  If you look up the acronym, you'll get a good idea of his carefree outlook on life.  He wasn't a motorcycling anarchist; instead, his independent disposition probably originated from his eating habits.  Even back then, he weighed almost 400 pounds and didn't seem to care -- or perhaps was just resigned to it.

Today, Dilligaf owns a successful restaurant.  No surprise there.  It also wouldn't be surprising if his last will and testament specifies that he should be buried with his favorite college meal -- one that he consumed nightly -- a large deluxe pizza and a six-pack of beer.

If that really is among his final wishes, I hope we don't find out for a long time.  But suppose 16,500 years from now, a future archaeologist discovers that Dilligaf's tomb includes his beloved pizza and beer encased in Lucite.  Will that archaeologist conclude that the 21st Century Americans used pizza and beer for religious ceremonies?  (More than just on Super Bowl Sunday?)

Likewise, suppose someone living 16,500 years ago in northern Jordon was buried with his favorite meal, a fox.  Could today's archaeologists unearth the remains and conclude that the fox was not food but a domesticated pet?  Apparently so:

Before dog was man's best friend, we might have kept foxes as pets, even bringing them with us into our graves, scientists now say.

This discovery, made in a prehistoric cemetery in the Middle East, could shed light on the nature and timing of newly developing relationships between people and beasts before animals were first domesticated. It also hints that key aspects of ancient practices surrounding death might have originated earlier than before thought.

My amateur "favorite meal" hypothesis seems just as valid as the PhDs' "prehistoric pet" hypothesis.  Both are fascinating to ponder and it would be fun to dig up more artifacts that might confirm or refute such conjectures.