In 2014, archaeologists have uncovered parts of a 3,000-year-old hill fort on the Velebit Mountain in Croatia. But their journey towards the discovery was far from easy due to the area’s challenging conditions. In 2015, they decidee to seek out a new helper – dogs.

Vedrana Glavas, an archaeologist at the University of Zadar, teamed up with dog trainer Andrea Pintar, whose company Canine Caffe trains “cadaver dogs,” who help sniff out cold cases for police and even find mass graves for local officials.

“Some of the police cases Andrea has worked on are 30 years old,” Galvas told The Atlantic in an interview. “We both worked how far back in time dogs could smell.”

Glavas and Pintar eventually published their research in 2018, noting that the dogs led them to more than six unique graves. Glavas excavated artifacts, human finger and toe bones.

Without the dogs’ help, Glavas said they would not have uncovered the remains they found.

New research suggests that a properly trained pup can pick up the scent of death from even a centuries-old remains.

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