JAMES WHITRED/COURTESY OF LEON LEVY EXPEDITION TO ASHKELON
DOG BURIAL. Archaeologists found hundreds of dog burials from the fifth century B.C.E. (during the Persian period) at Ashkelon on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The dogs, such as the example below, died from natural causes and were buried in shallow pits. During life, they likely served as sacred animals in a healing deity’s cult—although no corresponding temple has been uncovered at Ashkelon from the Persian period.