Chosen beasts?: Paleopathology of horse and cattle in wetland sacrifices on the Öland island in Sweden.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Investigations of the prevalence of degenerative joint disease in modern horses have shown a correlation between degenerative joint disease and workload. In this paper the distribution of observed changes in the joints of the lower extremities in sacrificed horses at Skedemosse wetland was interpreted in the terms of whether the horses have been used for work. The occurrence of changes was divided in five groups depending on its severeness. The results show that there were different lesions in fore limb compare to those in hind limb. Fusion of Mc II and IV was in majority in the fore limbs. Those changes are most frequent seen in older animals. Degenerative joint disease was more common in the hind limbs whereof some resembled to those found in lame horses. However, the results indicate that not only lame horses were sacrificed. The finds of horse bones on mainland Sweden indicates that larger animals were sacrifieced compare to the Skedemosse horses. A comparison of withers height with contemporary horses on the island Gotland and mainland show that Skedemosse horses had a greater variation.
Spavin; Iron Age horses; sacrificial; horse utilization; hock joint; degenerative joint disease; palaeopathology; archaeozoology; osteoarthrosis
History and Archaeology
Research subject Osteoarchaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-72400OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-72400DiVA: diva2:496667