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Big and small bovids from Mediaeval towns in Estonia

Liina MALDRE

en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages

Published on 01 June 1998

The present paper is compiled on the basis of the material collected during the excavations in two Estonian Mediaeval towns - in Parnu and in Tartu. The purpose of the work is to give a review of the bovids in the Mediaeval Estonia. The Estonian cattle in the Middle Ages belonged to Bos taurus longifrons type. The withers height of Estonian Mediaeval stock ranged from 97.5 to 120.0 cm. The diaphysial index of the metacarpus from Parnu varied as follows: 12.4-15.7 (cows), 18.1-21.0 (bulls), 13.6-20.1 (oxen). Osteological material from Tartu did not contain the anterior cannon-bones of bulls; the diaphysial index was 13.6-15.0 for cows and 13. 0-16.5 for oxen. Complete skulls of sheep were found rarely and most of the ewes were hornless. The withers height of Estonian Mediaeval sheep ranged from 51.6 to 68.9 cm. According to the diaphysial index of the metacarpal bones the sexual groups could be separated as follows: female 8.8-11.4, male 10.9-12.3, castrated 10.2-11.6.

Keywords :

Estonia, Mediaeval, domestic animals, measurements, sexual characteristics

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