Draught Cattle: Their Osteological Identification and History
The most widely distributed form of work for cattle since the beginning of their domestication has been as draught animals for the palough and cart. This is known from archaeological, iconographic and written sources which, however, are limited in number and generally only inform us about younger periods. Skeletal remains found during archaeological excavations may yield additional data for the study of cattle as draught animals in former times. In this volume we will review the osteological evidence previously reported in the literature and describe the morphological and osteometric traits observed in a series of foot skeletons of modern draught cattle, collected in Rumania. A case study is presented in which the results obtained from the recent material are applied to a sample of cattle bones from a Roman site in Belgium. An attempt is made to define histological criteria for the recognition of draught cattle. The osteometry of the Rumanian material and a large sample of Hungarian grey cattle is studied. Moreover, the broader culture-historical and economic implications of using cattle in draught work is reviewed.
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