Craniometric analysis of Early Medieval horses Equus przewalskii f. caballus (Linnaeus, 1758) from chosen areas in Poland


Abstract: These studies were carried out on 14 adult (9 males and 5 females) Equus przewalskii f. caballus (Linnaeus, 1758) horses, using both the skulls and mandibles. All of the material originated from 3 Polish archaeological sites that date back to the Early Medieval period. The most extensive craniometrical investigations consisted of 40 skull measurements and 16 mandible measurements. In some cases, the conditions of the artifacts narrowed the number of accessible osteometric points. The aim of this study was an estimation of the craniometric measurement differences and an examination of their statistical importance according to animal sex, age, and origin. A statistical insignificance of animal sex, age, and origin on the skull and mandible craniometry was found (P > 0.05) among the Early Middle Age skeletal horse remains from the 3 investigated sites. Moreover, numerous analogies were demonstrated in some craniometric measurement mean values compared with the cranial remains of other horses dating back to the Early and Late Middle Ages, and with horses having the exterior preserved primal features of their European ancestors: Poleskie horses and Polish Konik horses.

Keywords: Adult horses, craniometric measurements, skull, Early Middle Ages

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