Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History

A mummified dog, estimated to be 1,000 years old, was discovered in Mexico's Candelaria Cave with human bodies and relics.

McClatchy blogs: But did he eat Aztec Alpo?

Published: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3E

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But did he eat Aztec Alpo?

Mexico Unmasked

Posted by Tim Johnson, Nov. 14

Mexican anthropologists reported today that they are studying a mummified dog found in a cave in a semi-arid region of northern Mexico.

Mummified dogs have only been found in Egypt and Peru, so the recovery of the parched canine has gotten the National Institute of Anthropology and History excited.

The dog was found in the Candelaria Cave in the Lagunero area, which stretches across parts of Coahuila and Durango states. Anthropologists say a hunter-gatherer group may have domesticated it. Early estimates are that the mummified dog is 1,000 years old.

The contents of Candelaria Cave were actually discovered in 1953. The cave contained some 200 bodies and 2,500 relics, including funerary vessels, bows and arrows, knives, textiles, baskets, wooden figures and jewelry. The relics and the mummy of the dog were just returned by a regional museum to the institute.

Anthropologists quoted in an institute press release say they hope to learn if placing dogs as companions in human burial grounds was a tradition among the ancient peoples, or if it shows general domestication of dogs.

Anthropologists will measure the mummified dog carefully, X-ray it and conduct carbon 14 testing to determine its exact age, the institute said.

Then they may discover its breed. Any bets on whether it's a precursor of a Chihuahua? Or a Coahuila collie? Or a Lagunero Labrador? Then again, maybe it's just an ancient mutt.

Pets, Pinky and Dry Excrement –

Colombian gangs and their silly aliases

Inside South America

Posted by Jim Wyss, Nov. 12

Los Rastrojos is one of Colombia's most feared criminal gangs and its top leader was recently arrested as he held a "Mafioso summit" at his farm, authorities said.

The man's name is José Leonardo Hortúa Blandón, but he's better known as Mascotas or Pets.

Police also arrested the gang's number-two man Picante, or Hot, as in spicy. He had assumed the leadership position after his predecessor, Pinky, sometimes spelled Pinkhy, was arrested.

Colombia's criminals and guerrillas are fond of absurd monikers. Among some of the most memorable are Gordolindo (Fat Beauty), Vasodeleche (Glass of Milk) and Mierda Seca (Dry Excrement). Dry Excrement, a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, earned his name due to his chronic halitosis, according to Semana Magazine.

The excellent periodical has a list of some of the more ridiculous monikers at:" target="_blank"> diccionario-alias/186767-3.aspx.

Former D.C. rivals on same team in Petraeus case

Suits & Sentences

Posted by Michael Doyle, Nov. 12

The #Petraeus case has rallied two powerhouses who competed in the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy mess more than a decade ago.

In another example of what a small world D.C. law can be, Attorney Abbe Lowell and P.R. whiz Judy Smith have been retained by the Florida woman who says she received harassing e-mails from David Petraeus's one-time mistress, Paula Broadwell. The woman, Jill Kelley, and her husband Scott hired Lowell and Smith, who have already put out a statement on the couple's behalf.

Exactly why the Florida couple would feel a need to hire a criminal defense attorney with a strong political pedigree – that would be Lowell – is unclear.

Back in 2001, then-congressman Condit hired Lowell to represent him amid questions about his relationship to missing intern Levy. Lowell did things like subject Condit to a polygraph exam as a way to show his innocence.

Smith, meanwhile, was working the other side of the fence on behalf of the Levy family and their attorney, Billy Martin.

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