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Man and dog petroglyph of Horsehoe Canyon (formerly Barrier Canyon) in Utah's Canyonland National Park. The box-shaped dog recurs in very old petroglyphs, and the Barrier Canyon culture long predated the earliest Anasazi basketmakers.

Whether there was once such a chubbily built breed is unknown -- very likely it is only the stylization of the artists of that bygone age, as they also depicted human figures without arms and themselves either elongated in height, box shaped, or as in this case triangular. The boxiness of the dog may have indicated only that it was overfed, and has some cultic meaning the same as for the later Colima tomb dogs which were so frequently fat or pregnant in form.

It has been speculated that many of these images relate to the dead, and the featurlessness of some of the elongated humans indicates grave-wrappings. If this is so, then the presence of dogs was not merely about the hunt but about the afterlife, as dogs were afterlife guides for the very early Barrier Canyon people, as they would be in Mayan, Aztec, Inca, and Mississippian cultures.

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