> ancient humans found the animals to be important enough to stay close to even in death
They buried their dogs with them because their dogs were important to them, for the many reasons listed in the article.
I'm not sure what more explanation you're looking for - you're not going to get a more definitive explanation of the thought processes someone who's long dead are you?
Also the headline says that a study is looking at it. They didn't claim to have a clear answer.
>They buried their dogs with them because their dogs were important to them, for the many reasons listed in the article.
Or, they kept excess puppies as food, and buried food with bodies; or they considered the animals to be tools and thought they'd be useful in the next life.
Nothing they mention seems to imply, nor require emotional attachment.
The food angle seems weird, if you don't make any effort to procure different food then doesn't that show less attachment; only feeding the animal any excess (for example) seems less attached than preparing a specific diet.
We’d find knife marks on dog bones at their refuse sites, from the butchering process, and dog proteins in their faeces. That’s how we know a lot of ancient populations practiced cannibalism.
Are you saying we don't; that's kinda fascinating because I'd expect all creatures with pelts to be skinned if found recently dead, or killed (eg for mercy, food, ritual).
>"Samuel Belknap III, a graduate research assistant working under the direction of Kristin Sobolik in UMaine’s Department of Anthropology and Climate Change Institute, found a 9,400-year-old skull fragment of a domestic dog during analysis of an intact human paleofecal sample.
>"The fact that the bone was found in human waste provides the earliest proof that humans in the New World used domesticated dogs as food sources.
>"“This is an important scientific discovery that can tell us not only a lot about the genetic history of dogs but of the interactions between humans and dogs in the past,” said Belknap. “Not only were they most likely companions as they are today, they served as protection, hunting assistants, and also as a food source.”" (https://phys.org/news/2011-01-oldest-domesticated-dog-americ...) //
Anyone reading this article and expecting some kind of falsifiable scientific proof of a human's intentions is not going to get it.
Perhaps they only ate the really good dogs to retain their essence ...
We might do so today except there's bound to be a regulation against that, and modern society has a very odd relationship with death.