Ostemetric and molecular sexing of cattle metapodia
2012 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 1, 121-127 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sex identification of skeletal remains based on morphology is a common practice in Zooarchaeology. Knowledge of the sex distribution of slaughtered or hunted animals may help in the interpretation of e.g. hunting or breeding strategies. Here we investigate and evaluate several osteometric criteria used to assess sex of cattle (Bos taurus) metapodia using molecular sex identification as a control of the metric data. The bone assemblage used to assess these new criteria derives from the Eketorp ringfort in the southern parts of Öland Island in Sweden. One hundred metapodia were selected for molecular analysis of sex and we were able to genetically identify the sex of 76 of these elements. The combined results of the molecular and osteometric analyses confirm a significant size difference between females and males for several measurements for both metacarpals (Mc) and metatarsals (Mt). Our results show that some measurements are applicable for metapodials. These measurements include the slenderness indices such as the Mennerich’s index 1 and 3, as well as the distal breadth (Bd), the breadth between the articular crests (Bcr), and the maximum breadth of the lateral trochlea (BFdl). We show that they can be used for sexing of both metacarpals and metatarsals. The latter measurements offer an opportunity to study fragmented elements and thus a higher number of elements may be utilized for morphological sexing of archaeological bones. Size comparisons of Mc and Mt may also aid in the separation of bulls and oxen.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 39, no 1, 121-127 p.
Osteometry, molecular sexing, ancient DNA, cattle metapodia, eketorp ringfort
Research subject Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-68152DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2011.09.009ISI: 000297533300013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-68152DiVA: diva2:471987